All About Estates

Tag: Corina S Weigl

Total 28 Posts

Making Effective Distributions of Estate Taxable Income Tax

Dealing with the taxation of income earned by an estate can be complex. It has become even more complex since January 1, 2016.  It was on this date that all estates, other than those that qualify as a “graduated rate estate” (GRE), were no longer able to benefit from graduated…

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Estate Lawyers: Did our Invitation Get Lost in the Mail?!

Today’s blog was written by Jenna Ward, Articling Student, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. When clients plan engagement parties, weddings, baby showers or divorce parties (yes, divorce parties are becoming increasingly common) they may not think to invite their estate lawyer. Understandable. However, the unfortunate result may be that such life…

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Will Challenges and the Well – Acquainted Lawyer

Today’s blog was written by Jenna Ward, Articling Student, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin. A recent case of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan has emphasized the significance of first, the relationship between a testator and his or her lawyer and second, the experience and tenure of such lawyer in assessing testamentary…

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TO ADVERTISE, OR NOT TO ADVERTISE – THAT IS THE BLOG FOR TODAY

When an individual dies with debts, it is the obligation of the executor to determine the extent and veracity of those debts and to take steps to satisfy them. If an executor distributes the assets of the estate without taking appropriate steps to address outstanding debts, s/he may be personally liable to satisfy them.

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BEWARE OF HIDDEN TAX CONSEQUENCES

A recent Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench decision in Morrison v. Morrison 2015 CarswellAlta 2249 (Alta.Q.B.) reminds advisors and clients alike of (i) the need to consider the income tax consequences of not only their overall estate plan, but components within it, and (ii) the importance of stating intention expressly and directly, particularly when one child may be benefitted more so than other children. The facts in Morrison were not unusual nor is the fact that, despite the relatively modest dollar amounts involved, the matter went to trial – an unfortunate result for all concerned.

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FLYING SOUTH FOR THE WINTER

As winter finally sets in for us Canadians and our Canadian snowbirds begin to head south, we often see an increase in interest among our clients with the concept of owning a home in the southern USA. While the Canadian dollar may make this somewhat unattractive at the moment and perhaps for the foreseeable future given some recent forecasts, there will always be deals to be had and emotional decisions to be made. As a result, I take this blog as an opportunity to remind readers of the implications of owning a US vacation property.

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OWNERSHIP OF FOREIGN PROPERTY

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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(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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Are you free to do what you want when you die?

In previous blogs I’ve talked about why you should have a Will. Now it’s time to discuss what limitations are imposed on you when leaving your estate. In general, you are free to leave your assets to whomever you want. This is called “freedom of testamentary disposition”. However, for certain policy reasons, the law does impose some restraints on you. To avoid costly disputes after you are gone, it’s important that these legal limitations be addressed.

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Making sure you play with your best hand

In the years that I have been practicing I’ve come to realize the importance of having a team approach to addressing a client’s estate plan. Whether the team includes the accountant, who suggests an ‘estate freeze’, the insurance advisor who considers the extent and type of insurance needed to best fulfill the client’s goals, the investment advisor who works to achieve both the client’s retirement and legacy goals or other lawyers who are involved in the client’s legal affairs, all the advisors have a role to play in ensuring the client’s estate play is properly implemented. No where is the team approach perhaps more paramount than when the areas of family and estate law intersect.

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