This week on Hull on Estates, Paul Trudelle and Josh Eisen discuss a private member’s bill that was recently voted down. Before its demise, Bill 120 had proposed a number of interesting changes to probate fees in Ontario, including a maximum fee and deductions for charitable bequests.
Ellen Roseman, “Ontario’s Estate Tax Highest In Canada: Roseman” Toronto Star (6 October 2015)
Bill 120, An Act to amend the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998, 1st Sess., 41st Leg., Ontario, 2015 (as voted down by the House of Commons 24 September 2015).
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Chinese real-estate tycoon, Yu Pengnian, announced this past April that he was donating the last $500 million of his fortune to his charitable foundation on philanthropy. He was asked by a reporter, whether his children were angry about his donations and responded by stating: “They didn’t oppose this idea, at least not in public.”
|It is not uncommon for billionaires to donate their fortune. For instance, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates started a campaign called "The Giving Pledge." At that time, they had four billionaires pledge to give away half of their fortune upon their death. Now there are 40. My colleague, Nadia Harasymowycz, recently blogged on this topic, which can be found here: Leaving it all to Charity – A Good Plan or an Estate Litigator’s dream.
The idea of giving away your fortune is a strong shift from the traditional idea of passing down your wealth, from generation to generation. Why this switch in estate planning? Yu stated: “If my children are competent, they don’t need my money. If they’re not, leaving them a lot of money is only doing them harm.”
Yu’s message to wealthy families put simply: “Too many wealthy parents focus on preventing their children from failing. But in doing so, they also deprive their children of the joys of self-made success.”
Thank you for reading,
Rick Bickhram – Click here for more information on Rick Bickhram.
Every year on Groundhog Day I can’t help but reflect on Bill Murray and his contribution to the modern North American psyche. It must be a massive ego trip to know that, on one day of the year, most everyone reflects on a movie that you have made. With all due apologies to Punxsutawney Phil and Ontario’s own Wiarton Willie, Bill Murray is to Groundhog Day what Cupid is to Valentine’s Day (that other February distraction). And you can’t escape him. Groundhog Day (the movie) is played endlessly in syndication (especially on, well, Groundhog Day) unrivaled in its mind-numbing repetition except by the inescapable "Bridget Jones Diary" and Murray’s other masterpiece "What About Bob?"
But I digress. Groundhog Day (the day, not the movie) speaks to our deepest yearnings for the coming of Spring in the depths of what is now a very frigid winter. And Groundhog Day (the movie, not the day) observes the mind-numbing monotony of everyday life coupled with the fantasy of excelling at a given endeavour if only given 365 chances to repeat it. There is a lesson in there somewhere…I am just not sure what it is.
Here’s to trying to get it right the first time…whatever "it" happens to be!
David M. Smith
David M. Smith – Click here for more information on David Smith.