Estates & Wills & Trusts

What do I do now? I didn’t know I was an executor!

By Lisa Laredo . Rule number one when writing your will: always ask your chosen executor before appointing them if they’re willing to take on the task. If you don’t, that person may get a surprise phone call informing them of such after your death. Read more

Grocery store self-checkout: where will it lead?

By Ian Hull. The move to retail automation amazes me – its impact is so unpredictable. The most recent kerfuffle relates to claims by one retailer's cashiers that they’ve been made to pressure customers into using self-checkout stations rather than traditional cashiers. Cashiers claim (probably correctly) that stores are encouraging self-checkout to reduce the number of cashiers needed in store. You can read about it here. Read more

Detailed will can reduce disputes between heirs

The more detail a testator can put into a will, the better, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Elinor Shinehoft. Read more

Dictionary definition helps decide will challenge

Testators should steer clear of ambiguous language if they wish to avoid a will challenge after their death, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback. Read more

A tightly drafted will can spare litigation

A recent Alberta will challenge illustrates the danger of a loosely drafted will, says Toronto-area estates litigator Charles B. Ticker. Read more

We can’t cut our smartphone habit — but we can cut the cost

By Suzana Popovic-Montag . Talk to someone who lives in Europe or travels there for extended periods. Ask them what they pay for their phone plan. You’ll be shocked and disheartened. The costs are a fraction of what they are in Canada. Read more

Is my estate dispute suited for mediation?

Mediation can be successful for almost any type of matter, Toronto trust and estate litigator and mediator Felice Kirsh tells Read more

Ticker takes the stage for autism fundraiser

Toronto-area estates litigator and mediator Charles Ticker hits the stage with his band, The Faded Genes , on May 30 to raise money for autism. Read more

Issue estoppel and passing of accounts

Executors or guardians passing accounts may be able to rely on the doctrine of issue estoppel — which precludes the relitigation of issues that have been conclusively determined in a prior proceeding — to prevent the process from getting out of hand, says Toronto estate litigator David M. Smith. Read more

Moms, take care of your family — have a will!

By Lisa Laredo . Many say that moms hold the family together. They love their kids unconditionally, often take them wherever they need to go and always, always know where everything is whenever someone needs it. Read more

What happens to my will if my lawyer dies, retires or moves?

By Michele Allinotte . Someday, I hope to retire and enjoy my life after law with my family and loved ones. However, I will not be “riding off into the sunset” anytime soon, and I expect to be an active lawyer in Cornwall and area for another two or more decades. Read more

Hull & Hull's SCC win establishes important precedent

Hull & Hull LLP’s recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) win in a case concerning unjust enrichment has many practitioners “fussed” about how the ruling affects “what everyone understood to be a clear protection in terms of an irrevocable beneficiary,” Toronto trusts and estates lawyer Suzana Popovic-Montag tells Canadian Lawyer . Read more

SCC finally resolves Henson trusts questions: Pope

In its recent ruling , the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) finally settled that the assets held in a Henson trust do not belong to the person receiving provincial disability benefits and should not impact the benefits that they receive, Ottawa disabilities and estate planning lawyer Kenneth Pope tells The Globe and Mail . Read more

Does your lawyer use inclusive language?

By Michele Allinotte . Legal documents are not always the most pleasant things to read. Even if the documents are for a good thing (buying a home or adoption), it is easy to get bogged down in the legal language. Read more

The earlier the better to quit executor role

The sooner the executor of an estate realizes that they don’t want to fill the role, the better, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Elinor Shinehoft tells Read more