All About Estates

Month: August 2011

Total 22 Posts

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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You Can’t Choose Your Family BUT You Can Choose Your Friends (and your POA)

Who do you want making decisions for you when you are no longer able? Friends may know things about you that you aren’t comfortable or able to share with family; they often live in the same city; have shared a number of life experiences and they can often be closer than blood relatives. So what’s the deal?

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Charitable bequests and stock market turmoil

Tumbling stock markets always stir up anxieties. This is certainly true for charities that depend on donations, as well as for the donors who give to them. One type of donation that is remarkably unaffected by market roil is the bequest.

Canada is seeing a steady, long-term increase in charitable bequests because of a combination of societal factors. These factors include the aging of society, greater concentration of wealth, smaller and non-traditional families, increased profile of philanthropy, and generous tax incentives for gifts of assets. Over the last 20 years, an environment has been created where more Canadians are feeling comfortable with devoting a significant portion of their net worth to charity.

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Man vs. Beast

The testator disinherited her only son who was 51 years old and suffered from Hepatitis C. The son sought an order that adequate provision be made for his proper maintenance and support from his mother’s estate. A good discussion of the principles of dependant support.

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Private company shares and life insurance

It is not unusual to see a corporate beneficiary of a life insurance policy collect the insurance on the death of the insured shareholder. Depending on the circumstances, there are creative ways to use the insurance to benefit such persons as the deceased’s estate or other shareholders of the company.

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U.S. Estate Tax Debate Continues

As world attention appears to be increasingly focused on the economic news coming from the United States, and the various political debates in that country regarding deficit reduction and tax policy, I thought it would be interesting and timely to draw readers attention to a recent Reuters article that profiles a leader of the U.S. political movement to repeal estate taxes.

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Personal Support Workers- who are they?

Personal support workers who have the most 1:1 involvement with those in need of care, are unregulated. What does this mean?

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