Tag: estate planning
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During Episode #43, Ian and Suzana discussed estate planning with a focus on financial topics such as tax planning, multiple will scenarios and family law issues.
Joint accounts tend to be a common estate planning technique used by and recommended to clients by many allied professionals. Recently, in dealing with a litigious joint accounts matter, Ian and I considered some of the legal issues surrounding the creation of such accounts. We came up with a preliminary list of twelve things that we think should be kept in mind in establishing joint accounts.
Firstly, a joint account can be viewed as a gift as between the parties and this is a legal determination that needs to be made. The onus with respect to proving a gift is on the recipient of the gift after death to show that it was legitimate. There is a presumption at law that the gift is not valid and this must be overcome after death.
Secondly, the onus with regard to gifting needs to be considered in the context of a joint account as a gift given during one’s lifetime needs to be proven by the recipient of the gift and a gift after lifetime, given through a testamentary gifting process such as a Will, needs to be proven by the person that received the gift. There is no presumption that it was obtained by virtue of undue influence.