All About Estates

Category: Probate Tax

Total 10 Posts


A death benefit is an amount received after a person’s death for their employment service. In general, any amount up to $10,000 received is not subject to tax, pursuant to regulations contained in the Income Act (“ITA”). What if the deceased was the sole shareholder of a corporation and received…

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Over the course of my practice I’ve had clients, family and friends all make pronouncements with respect to matters related to Wills and estate planning as if the statements are fact, when in reality they are often myth. Being someone whose profession operates on fact, I will try to set the record straight. From time to time though, the prosthelizer is so certain in his or her “cocktail party advice”, that attempting to set the record straight is challenging. In today’s blog I’d like to debunk some of the myths.

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More on Graduated Rate Estates

At a recent conference of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) was asked to respond to certain questions regarding Graduated Rate Estates (GRE’s), in particular around the actual definition of a GRE and its application to a situation where the deceased has more than…

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The Huffington Post reports that over a third of foreign buyers of real estate in Florida are Canadians. Another article reports that Canadians are the leading buyers of US real estate. In earlier blogs I’ve talked about the specter of US estate taxes that arises when a Canadian dies owning US situs property, like real estate. Besides this complexity, the ownership of foreign property raises the potential for challenges in the administration of an estate. As a result, when developing an estate plan that includes foreign real estate it is important to consider a number of issues, some of which are…

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Much has been written about probate fee avoidance. Can you with a power of attorney engage in probate fee avoidance on behalf of a testator whose estate may be subject to probate fees?

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(Un)Certainty with Probate Taxes

As someone who counsels executors and administrators I’ve always been comfortable advising that when applying to probate the will or obtain a certificate of appointment of estate trustee without a will they are required to swear an affidavit attesting to the values of the assets caught on their application and that the values used ought to be based on sound back-up assessments. Those values then form the basis upon which estate administration (probate) taxes are required to be paid to the Minister of Finance. Recently, however, some uncertainty has been thrown into the mix.

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So You Want to Buy a U.S. Vacation Property…

As the thermometer continues to hover around the zero degree mark, many of us who live north of the 49th parallel begin to think about heading south to take up residence in one of the many sunnier climes the United States has to offer.

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Joint Tenancy Tax Issues

Last week my colleague, Laura West, spoke about some of the non-tax pitfalls that can arise when transferring property into joint tenancy with a family member. This week I’m here to follow-up with a discussion of the tax implications that should be considered before changing ownership of property to joint tenancy.

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Probate Tax Planning – Joint Tenancy May Not Always Be the Best Option

In Ontario, property that a deceased owns as a joint tenant with another person does not form part of his estate for probate tax calculation purposes. As a result, significant attention is now being paid to the use of joint ownership as an estate planning technique to reduce or avoid probate taxes for both real and personal property. However, when property is transferred into joint ownership there are many issues that should be considered other than the potential probate tax savings.

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