All About Estates

Month: January 2018

Total 19 Posts

Capacity to Contract – The Settlement Edition

Capable adults are free to enter into a contract with one another. Once entered into, the contract is binding on the parties (exceptions apply) and they may ask the court for assistance enforcing the terms of the contract. Different rules apply to contracts entered into by minors (in Ontario, the…

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Estate income entitlement

With the filing deadline for trust tax returns fast approaching, it is a good idea to take a look at some recent tax news which may be of some interest to executors. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) was recently asked their view on whether a beneficiary of an estate has…

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Death and TOSI

In my previous blog I looked at the revised rules for the tax on split income, or “TOSI”, that were released on December 13, 2017. In that blog I noted there are special rules that apply in respect of income and gains on property that is acquired as a consequence…

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Terms of Endearment and Estrangement

This blog was written by Sue Noorloos LLB, an Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotiatrust in London. Estrangement is defined as “one or more relatives intentionally choosing to end contact because of an ongoing negative relationship”, according to a recent article published in the New York Times called Debunking Myths…

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Capacity Evaluation of an Expressed Choice

In law, expressed choices are not necessarily a reflection of capable decision making. For example, regarding testamentary capacity, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Hall v. Bennett Estate (2003)[i] stated in paragraphs 15 and 16 that it is not sufficient simply to show that a testator had the capacity to…

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Post-Death Decline in the Value of RRSP or RRIF: What Happens?

Generally, when an annuitant of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (“RRSP”) or a Registered Retirement Income Fund (“RRIF”) dies, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”)  will consider that the annuitant received, immediately before death, an amount equal to the fair market value (“FMV”) of the property held in the RRSP or…

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January is Alzheimers’ Awareness Month

Let’s take a moment to consider one of the biggest health crises that we will be facing over the next several years. A health diagnosis that not only robs people of their memories but a health crisis that can destroy families. Without planning, I fear it may also bankrupt our…

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Joint Tenancy and Right of Survivorship

There has been much case law surrounding the difficulties that may arise when a parent and adult child are joint tenants with respect to real property. In the Ontario Court of Appeal (the “Court”) decision, Jansen v. Niels Estate[1], the Court was faced with the issue of whether Theadora Niels’…

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Who Will Milk the Cows Tonight?

This post is by Carol Willes, LLB, of Scotiatrust. This week I want to share some challenges and practical tips for personal representatives administering tangible but unique estate assets. Art & Artifacts Paintings, sculptures, collectibles and cultural items, etc.  Establishing the value of art is an exercise in discerning authenticity…

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Don’t Make a Proprietary Estoppel You Don’t Intend to Keep

This article was co-authored with Ronald Neal, student-at-law. In its recent decision of Cowper-Smith v. Morgan, 2017 SCC 61, the Supreme Court of Canada expanded the application of the doctrine of proprietary estoppel to find that a person can be bound to fulfill a promise she makes in respect of…

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