All About Estates

Laura West

Total 25 Posts

Reaffirmation of Testamentary Freedom in Ontario

A recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, Verch Estate v. Weckwerth, reaffirms the autonomy of Ontario testators to distribute their estates as they wish provided that their statutory obligations are fulfilled. In this case, which was brought to my attention by a post on Lynne Butler’s Estate Law…

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Foreign Charitable Organizations

In previous blogs, I have written about the definition of “qualified donee” in the Income Tax Act (Canada). This definition is important for two reasons. First, in order for a gift made by an individual to qualify for charitable tax credits, the recipient must be a qualified donee. Second, under…

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Federal Non-Profit Corporations – Continuance Deadline is Approaching

Readers of this blog who are in some manner associated with federal non-profit corporations will likely already be aware that a new federal non-profit corporate statute, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act or “CNCA”, was proclaimed into force on October 17, 2011. The CNCA does not automatically apply to existing federal…

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Specificity Matters: Defining “Children” and “Issue” for Estate Planning Purposes

In a previous blog, I wrote about the need for specificity when drafting provisions that include a “spouse” of a particular person as a potential beneficiary of an estate or trust.

Attention is also needed to ensure that when a Will refers to terms such as “children” or “issue”, the persons included within these classes are those that the testator intends to benefit. This is particularly true in the current age, where there are an increasing number of different types of relationships and manners of having children.

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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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Finding the Deceased’s Last Will

It is sometimes difficult for family members to find a deceased’s Will or to ascertain whether a particular Will is in fact her “last” Will.
The deceased may have stored his Will at his solicitor’s office, in his safety deposit box or among his possessions, or with some other individual altogether.

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Small Business Estate Planning Issues: Death of a Partner

In a previous blog, I wrote about some non-tax related small business estate planning issues to consider upon the death of a sole proprietor. In this blog, I wanted to touch on some non-tax issues affecting owners of small businesses that are structured as either partnerships or limited partnerships.

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