Tag: ontario

01 Mar

Vancouver Report Suggests Poor Intergenerational Communication

Nick Esterbauer Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, In the News, Wills Tags: , , , , 0 Comments

A report released by the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union yesterday suggests that there is a disconnect between the intentions of testators and the expectations of family members who anticipate becoming the beneficiaries of their estates.

39% of millennials living in Vancouver expect to receive an inheritance of $300,000.00 or more from their parents.  However, 66% of Vancouver parents expect to leave each of their children less than $100,000.00.  Among reasons for the discrepancy are increased senior debt and longer life expectancies, which both play a role in the depletion of the assets available for distribution after death.

Wblog photohat may compound the expectation of children living in Vancouver is the obligation in British Columbia that a testator provide a benefit for his or her surviving adult children, whether they qualify as his or her dependants or not, absent a rational and valid reason not to do so.  There is no such obligation in Ontario.

With the mean price of detached houses in Vancouver of $1.83 million, testators, especially those who intend to limit bequests to their children (rather than those with smaller estates), should consider whether their estate plans provide a sufficient benefit to their children.  Testators in British Columbia and elsewhere should be encouraged to consider whether estate plans reflect all of their legal and moral obligations.

The results of this report highlight the need for more effective communication between generations with respect to estate planning.  While approximately 80% of seniors in British Columbia have a will, less than half have discussed the transfer of their wealth with their children.  Effective communication can be the key to managing the expectations of beneficiaries and avoiding family estate disputes.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Esterbauer

01 Dec

Hull on Estates #443 – Simplified Procedures for Small Estates

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This week on Hull on Estates David Morgan Smith and Doreen So discuss the Law Commission of Ontario’s Final Report on Simplified Procedures for Small Estates, which is also available online at http://www.lco-cdo.org/en/small-estates-final-report.

Should you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com or leave a comment on our blog below.

Click here for more information on David Smith.

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10 Nov

Hull on Estates #440 – Variation of Trusts 101

Hull & Hull LLP Estate & Trust, Hull on Estate and Succession Planning, Hull on Estates, Hull on Estates, Podcasts, Show Notes Tags: , , , 0 Comments

This week on Hull on Estates Noah Weisberg and Natalia Angelini discuss P. Ann Lalonde’s contribution to the Key Developments in Estates and Trusts Law in Ontario (chapter 12), pertaining to variations of trusts and the steps and considerations involved in proceeding.

Should you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com or leave a comment on our blog below.

Click here for more information on Noah Weisberg.

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05 Nov

Non-Resident Guardians of Property and Security

Nick Esterbauer Guardianship Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

The Substitute Decisions Act directs that, when a person who does not reside in Ontario is appointed as a guardian of property, that person must provide security, as approved by the Court, for the value of the property to be administered.  However, the Court also has discretion to waive the requirement that security be provided by a non-resident guardian of property.  Under what circumstances the Court will exercise its discretion to waive the requirement to post security when appointing a non-resident guardian of property is unclear within the legislation and little guidance is provided by the sparse case law that deals with this issue.

In a paper presented by Dermot Moore of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (the “PGT“) at this year’s Six-Minute Estates Lawyer, Mr. Moore outlined the policy of the PGT on recommending security when a non-resident guardian of property is being appointed.  The PGT will typically recommend that security be required in the following circumstances:

  • If the proposed guardian is not a parent or spouse of the incapable person and the value of property is greater than $100,000.00;
  • If the proposed guardian is a parent or spouse, the incapable person does not own real property, and the value of the property is greater than $250,000.00; and
  • If the proposed guardian is a parent or spouse, the incapable person owns real property, and the value of the property is greater than $500,000.00.

It may be worth noting that in a jurisdiction such as Toronto, where property values are so high, a guardianship application by a non-resident of Ontario in respect of the average person who own real property will result in a recommendation by the PGT that security be posted.

In his paper, Mr. Moore notes that it is not infrequent for the Court to dispense with the requirement that security be provided if there is some argument in support of waiving the requirement.  One of the few decisions in which the issue of security in the appointment of non-resident guardians has been considered is Salzman v. Salzman, 2011 ONSC 3555, 2011 CarswellOnt 15786.  In this case, a resident of Quebec was appointed as guardian of property for his mother and was not required to post security upon his appointment.  In dispensing with the requirement to post security, Justice Hoy made note of the proposed guardian’s close relationship with his incapable mother, his historical assistance in managing her affairs, and the consent of his siblings, the only other beneficiaries of his mother’s estate, to the non-resident’s appointment and the dispensing of the requirement to post security.

Thank you for reading.

Nick Esterbauer

27 Oct

Hull on Estates #438 – Support for Common Law Spouses

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This week on Hull on Estates, David Smith and Nick Esterbauer discuss avenues of support for common law spouses, including claims for survivor’s pensions and the related legislation and case law in Ontario.

Should you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com or leave a comment on our blog below.

Click here for more information on David Smith.

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20 Oct

Hull on Estates #437- A Bill to Amend the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998

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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.

Resources:

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).

Should you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com or leave a comment on our blog below.

Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.

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25 Aug

Hull on Estates #430 – Removing Estate Trustees From A Deceased’s Estate

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Today on Hull on Estates, Paul Trudelle and Umair Abdul Qadir discuss the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s recent decision in Nguyen v Pham, 2015 ONSC 4548, where the two litigants sought orders removing each other as the estate trustee of the deceased’s estate. You can read more about this decision in David Freedman’s recent blog post.

If you have any questions, please email us at webmaster@hullandhull.com, or leave a comment on our blog below.

Click here for more information on Paul Trudelle.

01 Jul

Happy Canada Day!

Suzana Popovic-Montag News & Events Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Canada Day is the day on which we celebrate Confederation—when the United Province of Canada [(formerly) Upper Canada and Lower Canada] joined the colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to become a new nation, the Dominion of Canada.

In that sense, one might say that Canada Day is less a celebration of our collective self-assertion to obtain our autonomy by force and more a celebration of our ability to come together, our ability to work together and even our ability to live together—which is a really nice thing to celebrate.

We hope this Canada Day that you are able to come together with the people you love the most, doing the things you love the most. Whether at a cottage, at a BBQ or overlooking a firework’s show, wherever this message finds you, may you remember the privilege we all enjoy by the fact that we do and are able to come together and live together in Canada.

From your friends at Hull & Hull LLP, we wish you a very Happy Canada Day!

Thank you for reading.

Suzana Popovic-Montag

09 Apr

When will the Costs Hammer Fall?

Hull & Hull LLP General Interest, In the News, Litigation, News & Events, Public Policy, TOPICS Tags: , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Following the theme of my last blog, a very colourful Endorsement was recently rendered by the Honourable Justice Skarica, in a matter unrelated to estates, in which the opening sentence of was as follows,

“This is a costs order that is essentially meaningless”.

Ms. De Cruz Lee was the Applicant in De Cruz Lee v. Lee.  Ms. De Cruz Lee was at one time married to the Respondent Mr. Lee.  Ms. De Cruz Lee went through two different lawyers before representing herself at trial.  Although the trial was originally scheduled for 1-2 days, it went on for 9 days in total.  The claims at issue before Justice Skarica were so extreme that this case was even covered by the Toronto Star here.

Ultimately, Justice Skarica concluded that he could not find any evidence to substantiate Ms. De Cruz Lee’s allegations of fraud, conspiracy and human trafficking against Mr. Lee and he was awarded with $53,000.00 from the proceeds of the sale of the home that he shared with the Applicant.

Notwithstanding the fact that Ms. De Cruz Lee was judgment proof, Justice Skarica ordered full indemnity costs against the Applicant in the amount of $34,674.05.  According to Justice Skarica, this was a case for full indemnity costs because of Ms. De Cruz Lee’s unsubstantiated allegations of dishonesty, illegality and conspiracy which were advanced without merit.

In particular, Justice Skarica was passionate about the role of costs in civil proceedings,

“Self-represented litigants whose aim it is to protract court proceedings to force the other side to expend significant resources on legal costs due to scurrilous allegations that are without any evidentiary foundation and are entirely irrelevant to the issue before the Court will meet the hammer of a cost’s award. In our resource strapped court system, there must be deterrence against such conduct that not only penalises the opposing party but also penalises those litigants who have genuine claims to bring before a court but must have their justice delayed due to Court time being spent on this type of litigation.”

Have a great day everyone and thanks for reading!

Doreen So 

13 Apr

A Source for General Estate Information

Hull & Hull LLP General Interest, Litigation Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

I recently came across an excellent Government of Ontario website, maintained by the Ministry of the Attorney General, that provides reference to general information relating to estate planning and estate-related topics. 

Formatted as a series of questions and answers, the web page covers such topics as wills, estates, trusts, the probate application process, distribution of estates, the role of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and the Public Guardian and Trustee, powers of attorney, dealing with incapable family members, finding a lawyer, and general court information. 

The site is a great first introduction to these topics, and a good, basic primer of estate-related topics, with links to other government information. Using simple language, the site simplifies the terms and processes for those dealing with these issues for the first time.

Thank you for reading.

Paul E. TrudelleClick here for more information on Paul Trudelle.

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