probate lawyer stittsville

Changes to Ontario’s Probate Fees

probate lawyer stittsvilleOntario has some of the highest probate fees in Canada. A small reduction was announced in last year’s budget and took effect on January 1, 2020.

What is probate?

Where a person dies leaving a Will, the Executor (now called an ‘Estate Trustee’) obtains their authority to act on behalf of the deceased from the Will. Depending upon the assets owned by the deceased, it is sometimes necessary to ‘probate’ the Will.

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5 Steps to Make Things Easier for Your Executor

stittsville lawyer estate willWe’ve heard it said that acting as an executor is one of the hardest jobs that you never applied for. It is also one for which most don’t receive any training.
If you are like most people, you have likely appointed a family member or close friend to act as your executor. This person may have little to no knowledge as to what acting as an executor actually entails. They may be wholly unprepared for the enormity of the role. There are, however, steps that you can take to make the job of acting as your executor a little easier.

Step 1: Let your executor know where your original Will and other important documents are stored.

Your executor derives their authority to act from your Will and will need to have access to your original Will upon your death. Be sure to advise him or her as to where your original last Will is stored. This might be at your lawyer’s office, home safe, or safe deposit box. Access to a safe deposit box can be restricted upon your death so be sure to discuss this with your bank. Also leave instructions for your executor as to the location of all personal papers including passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.

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Substitute Decision-Making for Property

real estate lawyer ottawa stitttsvilleIn a blog posted last week, we explored the different types of substitute decision-makers that can be appointed with respect to personal care. In this blog, we will turn our attention to substitute decision-makers with respect to property.

I’m not sure if my dad has the capacity to sign a Power of Attorney for Property?

In a Power of Attorney for Property, the ‘grantor’ (the person signing the document) appoints one or more persons to make decisions on their behalf with respect to their property. In order to have the required mental capacity to sign a Power of Attorney for Property, among other things, the grantor must know what kind of property they have and its approximate value as well as appreciate the authority that they are giving to the Attorney.

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estate planning lawyer

Charitable Giving in Your Estate Plan


estate planning lawyer No other time of year personifies the spirit of giving more than Christmas. We thought it was the perfect time to share a little bit about how charitable giving can impact your estate plan.
Most are aware that a charitable gift on death has a beneficial impact upon an estate. To understand how this benefit arises, we must first look at what tax liability arises at death.

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Substitute Decision-Making for Personal Care

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Have you signed a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

When we think of estate planning, we often focus on the importance of signing a Will. However, planning for one’s possible incapacity is another critical aspect of proper estate planning. This generally involves signing both a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care. An ‘Attorney’ is defined in Ontario as a ‘substitute decision-maker’ and should not be confused with the terminology of our neighbours to the south where lawyers are referred to as attorneys.
Before signing a Power of Attorney document, one must have the required mental capacity.

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divorce family law lawyer kanata

“Divorce Day”?

divorce family law lawyer kanata
In the U.K., the first Monday back from the Christmas holidays is what is know as “Divorce Day”. This is the day when lawyers report seeing increases in inquiries about getting a divorce. As Canada is not immune to high rates of divorce, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that this trend happens here as well. As the holiday season is fast approaching, we want to remind readers of the Estate planning steps that are necessary post separate or divorce.

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family law stittsville

Canadian Neighbours Go To Battle Over Maple Tree

What could be more beautiful than a Thanksgiving weekend in Canada? Our maple trees are truly spectacular during this “Fall Rhapsody” time of year. And what could be more Canadian and fall-ish than a battle over a maple tree?

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A legal battle over a maple tree?! How very Canadian and season-appropriate!

A recent case (Allen v. MacDougall) before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice involved two neighbours in a dispute over a maple tree. The tree in question was growing on the shared boundary line between the neighbouring properties.

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