Tag: new year
It is the end of 2019. I therefore of course feel the need to use this blog to urge you to resolve to either make a will if you do not already have one, or, if you already have one, to review your current estate plan to see if it requires updating.
Why the urgency you might ask? The answer lies in the most festive of NYE tipples – champagne!
Apparently, approximately 24 people die annually from being hit by champagne corks. In fact, it has been alleged that more people die as a result of being hit by a champagne cork, than from poisonous spiders. This article highlights the death of a Hong Kong billionaire by champagne while celebrating his 50th birthday. As he opened a celebratory bottle of champagne, the cork hit the businessman in the temple causing a fatal brain hemorrhage. His death was confirmed on the way to the hospital.
Champagne corks as a cause of death have received much doubt and there have been steps to debunk as a ‘myth’. For instance, according to this article, the average rate at which a champagne cork exits a bottle is about 24.8 miles per hour. In extreme circumstances, if there was up to 3 bars of pressure, a cork could reach speeds of 60 miles per hour. Regardless, these speeds are not enough to cause a cork to be deadly.
So, while death by a champagne cork may not be a valid reason to urge you to consider your estate plan, there are many other good reasons as discussed in these related Hull & Hull blogs:
- Benefits of Estate Planning for Today’s Young Adults
- Make Estate Planning One of Your New Year’s Resolutions
- Happy New Year! And Be Careful!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The year and the decade are quickly winding down. In the days before the onset of 2020, it’s TIME FOR LISTS!
Year-end lists are everywhere: best estate cases, best songs, best movies, best TV shows, best books, best punt returns, best (or worst) Donald Trump moments. The list(s) go(es) on.
Rather than add to what is already a very long list of lists, I thought I would share with you one of my all-time favourite lists: “Changes to the Hotel California, Made in Response to Mr. Henley’s Recent Complaint”, by John Moe[i], as posted on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
Once read, you will never be able to listen to The Eagle’s Hotel California in the same way again.
Great song. Great guitars. If you haven’t listened to it in a while, give it a listen. Millennials: if you haven’t listened to it ever, give it a listen.
- Update room décor, including removal of ceiling mirrors
- Restock spirit supplies, encourage Captain to offer guests other options
- Acquire steelier knives and/or less resolute beast
- Emphasize “heaven” image over less desirable “hell” alternative
- Install electric-light system in hallway (long overdue), reassign employee who has been showing guests to room by candlelight
- Upgrade music selection to accommodate both guests who dance to remember and those who do so to forget
- Improve courtyard air conditioning to reduce occurrences of sweet summer sweat
- Encourage nightman to be less cryptic when talking to guests
- Clearly mark passage back to places guests have been before
- Emphasize core strengths: lovely place, plenty of room, consistent location
- Reduce power on colitis-oil highway pumps; smell may be overly aggressive
- Provide “house alibis” to guests who neglect to bring their own
- Streamline checkout procedures to accommodate guests’ desire to actually leave
Thanks for reading. Happy New Year!
*Bonus list: A short list of other John Moe “Pop Song Correspondences” posts:
- A Letter to Prince Regarding the Crying of Doves and the Fiasco That Resulted From the Presentation of a Speech on That Topic
- A Note Placed in the Pay Envelope of Billy “The Piano Man” Joel
- To: Peter Criss; From: Beth
- A Letter to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band From Sgt. Pepper
- A Letter to Elton John From the Office of the NASA Administrator
- Attention, Mr. Axl Rose: We Did Not Feel Welcome in the Jungle
- Marvin Gaye Explains What He Heard Through the Grapevine
- A Memo to the Sultans of Swing, From Their Booking Agent
The end of 2018 is fast approaching. 2019 will soon be upon us. I wish you health and happiness for the new year.
And by all means, get past New Year’s Day!
A 2010 study done at the University of California found that deaths spike in the two weeks around Christmas and New Year’s Day, with January 1 being the day of the year with the highest number of deaths from natural causes.
In the study, researchers looked at death certificates issued in the US over a 25 year period. This study differed from other studies that looked at deaths from self-harm, accidents and homicide in that it looked at deaths relating to natural causes, such as illness and old age.
Researchers found that 5% more people die on January 1 from natural causes than any other day.
Christmas and New Year as risk factors for death, D. Phillips, G. Barker and K. Brewer, Social Science and Medicine 71 (2010) 1463
No empirical reason for this trend is given in the study. However, several possible explanations are set out. These include:
- Increased psychological stress;
- Overcrowded [or perhaps understaffed] hospitals during the holiday season;
- Terminally ill patients may choose to be home and out of the hospital during the holiday season;
- Increased travel;
- People may be able to postpone death briefly in order to reach symbolic occasions;
Other theories are presented but dismissed as implausible or unlikely.
Another theory is that people postpone going to the hospital around the holidays because they want to be with their family. This can be dangerous. As reported in the Independent, “if you’ve got pains in your chest, don’t say I’m going to wait until after the holidays to get it looked at”.
Have a very happy, safe and healthy New Year’s Day, and new year!
Now that the 2016 year has begun, there are several amendments to the Income Tax Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. 1 (5th Supp) (the “ITA”) that have come into force. Some of these amendments have been discussed on this blog before. Among these amendments is the introduction of the “qualified disability trust” (the “QDT”).
The requirements for a QDT can be found in s. 122(3) of the ITA, and are as follows:
i. At the end of the trust year, a QDT must be a testamentary trust that arose on and as a consequence of an individual’s death;
ii. The trust must be resident in Canada for the trust year; and
iii. The trust and the named beneficiary or beneficiaries must have made a joint election for the trust to be a QDT.
Section 122(3) now also includes requirements for the beneficiary of a QDT:
i. Section 118.3(1)(a) to (b) must apply to the beneficiary for the individual’s taxation year in which the trust year ends, meaning that the beneficiary must be eligible for the disability tax credit; and
ii. The beneficiary can only jointly elect for one trust to be a QDT.
If a trust meets the requirements for a QDT, it will not be subject to the new rules with respect to flat top rate taxation that are now applicable to testamentary trusts. This is an important qualification, because prior to the amendments that came into force January 1, 2016, all testamentary trusts were subject to graduated rates of taxation. Now, however, trusts will only have the benefit of the graduated rates for the first 36 months following the death of a testator, during which period they will be called “Graduated Rate Estates” (“GREs”). Therefore, the QDT has significant benefits with respect to taxation of trusts.
As noted above, however, the requirements for a QDT are far from simple. With respect to the disability tax credit, there are particular requirements and limitations for eligibility. The assessment of whether a particular individual will be eligible for the disability tax credit is done by a doctor, not a financial advisor, and it can be difficult to predict whether or not someone will qualify.
There are also some elements of the QDT which may raise planning challenges, including the limit of one QDT per beneficiary. For example, if the grandparents of a disabled grandchild have chosen to create a testamentary trust for the benefit of their grandchild, only one grandparent is able to have the trust qualify as a QDT. Furthermore, the joint election for the trust to be a QDT must be made each year, and each year the beneficiary must qualify for the disability tax credit. As such, the status of the trust may change from year to year, and must accordingly adapt to the changing application of the tax rules.
Thanks for reading.
Today on Hull on Estates David Smith and Moira Visoiu discuss New Year’s resolutions for legal practitioners. Specifically, they mention the December 2012 issue of LAWPRO Magazine. A few of the best practices mentioned include the use of checklists and time management tools as well as tips for thorough documentation.
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