All About Estates

Introducing Ziggy- A Caring Companion

I am sharing my good fortune in that I am proud to be a ‘puppy raiser’ for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).I am doing so in this blog because it relates directly to aging well and philanthropic opportunities. By way of background, CNIB is a national charitable…

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Sibling Rivalry Over Mother’s Competency

In 2009, Hermine Wekerle, mother of financier and Dragon’s Den star, Michael Wekerle, signed an unconditional power of attorney for property giving one of her three daughters, Caron, authority to be her substitute decision-maker. In 2016, acting under the power of attorney for property, Caron agreed to sell a little…

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Journalism and Charities

The interconnectedness of registered charities and journalism is growing.  In this era of digital content explosion and “fake news”, traditional media outlets — especially newspapers — are seeking new ways to serve their communities and survive.  Increasingly, public benefit non-profit journalism is becoming a charitable activity.  There are estate donors…

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The Application for the Disability Tax Credit to be Reviewed: Hallelujah!

As most of you know, the Disability Tax Credit is a credit to income tax otherwise payable, available for those with a severe or prolonged impairment. It is meant to provide some relief from the additional costs and expenses incurred associated with the impairment. It is also referred to by…

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The Message is Loud But Not So Clear

Last week, a Washington Post article caught my eye ‘A Florida man collapsed with a ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ tattoo. Doctors didn’t know what to do’. The full article in the New England Journal of Medicine  described doctors in Miami who found themselves caught in what they describe as an usual ethical…

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The Principal Residence Exemption and Qualified Disability Trusts

I previously blogged about changes that could be made to the current qualified disability trust (“QDT”) rules to make them more flexible. In that blog I briefly referred to changes to the principal residence exemption that limit the types of personal trusts that can use the exemption, one of which…

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What’s more American than a Norman Rockwell painting – perhaps a Court hearing?

In my Blog last week I talked about how much I like some of the American traditions like Thanksgiving. What could be more American than a beloved Norman Rockwell painting. Earlier this month the Massachusetts Court of Appeal blocked the auction of 2 Norman Rockwell paintings, which had a combined…

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The SDA and Incapacity to Manage Personal Care – Another Example of a Limitation In Legislation

A frequent clinical challenge for doctors caring for seniors in hospitals is assessing decision making capacity and discharge planning. The following question arises; “Doctor, is the patient ‘capable’ to return home?” The problem with this question is the doctor has no authority in determining the answer. As per Section 45…

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TFSAs and the Non-resident

With mobility on the rise, it is expected that a person leaving Canada will have to visit the rules on tax-free savings accounts (TFSA) and Canadian tax residency.   Executors may have to consider the TFSA rules if a deceased’s will calls for the transfer of a TFSA account to a…

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Determining Capacity. They Actually Have An App For That!

I had the pleasure of attending a very interesting presentation on ‘Legal Capacity Assessment Panel Discussion & Technology Demonstration’ that may very well change the face of estate litigation by addressing the question of whether the individual was capable at the time of signing legal documents. I am involved in…

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