The Original Will Has Been Misplaced or Destroyed – W …

December 4th, 2018

We have recently looked at the validity of a Will, when the uncertainty of the testator’s wishes are apparent. Especially in the instance whereby the testator has more than one Will. –  However, the definition of the modern day family has somewhat evolved over the years, allowing for the recognition of diversity and the complex […]


Is Your Will Still Valid After A Recent Ontario Ruling?

October 2nd, 2018

A recent decision stemming from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is likely to have far-reaching implications on wills across the Province, and your will could be one of them. On September 11, 2018, Justice Sean Dunphy ruled that wills cannot leave the distribution of one’s assets to the discretion of one’s trustees. If it […]


When Does an Executor Pass their Accounts?

April 16th, 2018

A passing of accounts is essentially an estate audit.  Much like the CRA can pour over your tax returns with a fine tooth comb, a beneficiary, and later a judge, can review your estate accounting. This is because an executor is required to account for his/her actions to the beneficiaries. However, there is not always […]


Ontario Legislature seeks to Amend Insurance Act

October 11th, 2017

Bill 162, introduced in the Ontario Legislature on October 3, 2017, will amend section 115 of the Insurance Act to allow life insurance policyholders to sell their policy so long as they meet certain requirements under the Act. Previously, only licensed insurers or their authorized agents could sell life insurance policies. The proposed rules allow […]


Powers of Attorney in Ontario

September 21st, 2016

In Ontario, there are 3 types of Powers of Attorney (POA). This blog will offer a brief discussion of each. Non Continuing Power of Attorney for Property This POA is used in specific situations for a limited length of time. For instance, when an individual leaves the country. The individual outlines the specific tasks their […]


Joint Ownership and Estate Planning

July 28th, 2016

Estate planning can sometimes feel like an overwhelming experience, but with some guidance and professional advice, it does not have to be. A good starting point is to identify your goals with respect to passing your assets on to beneficiaries., Estate Administration Tax is a common concern among many testators (calculated at approximately 1.5% of […]


Court of Appeal Upholds Validity of Trusts Made to the …

May 3rd, 2016

In a recent decision, the Ontario court of Appeal confirmed that where property is placed in trust for the use of a beneficiary, that beneficiary is both entitled to use it or to save it and bequeath or devise it to an heir. In Holgate, the Court was called upon to interpret the will of […]


Estate Planning and the Family Cottage

October 28th, 2015

Planning for the family cottage can be challenging. Often there is a strong sentimental value attached to the property and a desire to preserve it for generations to come. Some important considerations include: Capital Gains Capital gains taxes are realized on any disposition. A disposition includes transferring the property to anyone who is not a […]


Court Finds Authority to Rule Ontario Resident’s Forg …

September 15th, 2015

By Michelle Stephenson In Grillo Estate v. Grillo,  an application to challenge the validity of a will turned on the Ontario court’s jurisdiction over a handwritten will made in Italy. The testator, Domenico Grillo, was an Ontario resident who was in poor health and died during one of his frequent trips to Italy. Shortly before […]

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