All About Estates

Category: Estate Planning

Total 736 Posts

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Can a suicide note be a valid holograph will? Maybe, and it depends upon where you live. The Ontario case of McGrath v. Joy, which decision was released at the end of 2020, dealt with whether a suicide note was a valid holograph will. My colleague, Rebecca Studin, recently blogged…

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Death, taxes and cryptocurrency

Everyone knows that you can’t avoid the tax collector, and death is no exception.  Under the Canadian Income Tax Act, on the death of an individual subsection 70(5) will trigger a deemed disposition of all the deceased taxpayer’s capital property at fair market value thus taxing any accrued capital gains…

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New Privacy Legislation Aims to Address Digital Assets in Estate Administration

Practitioners and clients alike have come to realize that there can be numerous legal challenges to administering a testator’s digital assets, including, among them, ambiguous or restrictive privacy legislation. For most Canadian provinces,[1] the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) does not appear to grant executors, trustees, or…

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Death Benefit Payments

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently released a translated technical interpretation with helpful guidance on the tax treatment of a death benefit payment in certain specific situations. A death benefit is income of either the estate or the beneficiary who receives it. Up to $10,000 of the total of all…

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Dude, Where’s My Car? – How to Transfer the Ownership of a Deceased Person’s Vehicle to a Beneficiary in Ontario

More often than not, we come across the following question from an Executor: How do I transfer the ownership of the deceased’s vehicle where the deceased specifically named a beneficiary in the Will? This seems like a fairly simple process but as I’ve learned over time, nothing is as simple…

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One in Ten: Why Bequest Donors Don’t Inform Charities

One in ten.  That, according to charitable sector studies, is how many estate donors inform the charities in their will of their intentions.  While this ratio varies by charity it underscores a fascinating paradox.  Bequest donors trust charities enough to make them beneficiaries of their estate, but they don’t trust…

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The Mysteries of Probate, Revealed

Of all the questions I am asked about the administration of estates, the ones that come up the most frequently are: “what is probate?”; “how do I know if I need probate?”; and “what’s involved in applying for probate?” Herein – the answers.

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Wills and Marriage: Should they go together like a horse and carriage?

This Blog was written by Emily Racine, Estate and Trust Consultant with Scotia Wealth Management Recently, the Ontario government announced changes to some important areas of estate law. One of these changes, which I would like to touch on, is a change to the rules which govern wills and marriages….

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Taxable preferred shares and estates – say what?

The tax reform of 1987 introduced the term “taxable preferred shares”[1] to curtail the tax advantage for non-taxpaying corporations using preferred share financing over debt financing. The result of this reform subjected the non-taxpaying corporation to a (current) 25 per cent tax on dividends that were paid on taxable preferred…

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Restricted gifts of real estate

When I was a young charitable gift planner, my charity was offered a cluster of islands on Georgian Bay.  Surrounding the 100-year-old family cottage were sheds, cabins and boat houses.  The donors had a vision: it would be a children’s camp. It was a stunning property.  Valuable, despite the sagging,…

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