All About Estates

Category: Family Conflict

Total 100 Posts

Yesterday I watched the US Open and Thought About My Dad

This original post was from a few years ago. It does seem like only yesterday because, while time has not stood still, sometimes our sentiments don’t change. The event and message is the same. It is a few years later and there is a new US golf champion. We still…

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The Risk and (Potential) Reward for Acting as an Executor [1]

  For those engaged in thoughtful Will planning there comes a point in the discussion with clients about who should be an executor, what the job of an executor is and whether and how much they should be paid. More often clients want to start the Will planning dialogue by…

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Trust and (Mis)Communication in Families

There is a recurrent theme that I continue to see in my elder care work with families. It involves a breakdown in communication that has likely started sometime ago. As a result of this miscommunication, the trusting relationship that I would like to be believe originally existed there, has been…

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A Gift is a Gift

We often write about the benefits (and some pitfalls) of gifting, before and after death. Personally, when I recommend gifting, I assume that unless there are specific outcomes required to realize on the gift, a gift is exactly that, a gift – something transferred voluntarily without expectation of getting it…

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Privacy, the Rule of Law, and Apotex Inc.

The “rule of law” is a defining feature of western democracies. Briefly described, it is the insistence that all government action be based in law, and is contrasted with acts of tyranny, dictatorship, and arbitrary exercises of power. The central role that the rule of law plays in Canadian society…

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Death and TOSI Part 2: Spouses

My past two blogs have looked at the December 13, 2017 draft legislation that amends and expands the tax on split income (“TOSI”) rules. In my last blog I outlined some of the special rules that apply (in the context of TOSI) to income and gains on property that is…

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Safe Space: Governance in Action

For most businesses they evaluate their success by quarters or perhaps terms described as “short”, “medium” and “long”. For a family business, they measure success by ensuring the company is preserved for the next generation and beyond.  And despite the statistics which suggest that successfully transitioning a family business to…

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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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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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