Gail Black’s tax and private client services practice focuses on trusts (business and personal), taxation, estate planning and administration, and charities and not-for-profit organizations.
Gail advises her clients on the development and implementation of their estate plans including wills, family trusts, alter ego, spousal, and joint partner trusts, enduring powers of attorney, personal directives, tax-effective charitable giving (including private foundations), corporate reorganizations, and related asset transfers.
Gail also advises on cross-border planning and, as an active practising member of both the Alberta and BC Bars, advises on estate planning and administration for Albertans with real estate interests in British Columbia. She advises institutional and individual trustees and beneficiaries on trustee responsibility and trust interpretation, administration, and variation for taxation and other purposes. In addition, Gail advises on probate and estate administration.
Gail advises charities and other not-for-profit organisations on tax and other matters. She consults on litigation involving estate or trust issues. Gail also advises on the drafting, interpretation, and amendment of business trusts and their operational and liability issues.
Gail is a frequent speaker to a variety of organizations on taxation, estate planning and administration, trusts, planned giving, and charities and not-for-profit organizations. She is past Chair of STEP Calgary and recently was the co-instructor of the Wills and Estates course for the University of Calgary Law Faculty.
Gail is listed in The Best in Lawyers Canada 2013-2018 in Trusts and Estates. She has also been named to the recent editions of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in Estate and Personal Tax Law. Gail was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2016. She has volunteered for charitable organizations devoted to children, health, and the arts.
Gail practised for several years in British Columbia both as a partner at a major Vancouver firm and as a principal of her own firm. In Alberta, Gail was a partner at a major law firm in Calgary for several years before joining Miller Thomson in 2007.
Professional achievements & leadership
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Estate & Personal Tax Law, 2015-2018
- The Best Lawyers in Canada, Trusts and Estates, 2012-2019
- STEP Calgary – Volunteer of the Year Award, 2017
- Horace Harvey Gold Medal in Law
- Presenter, “Reporting Requirements for Trusts and Other Short Snappers,” Miller Thomson (Calgary) Tax Seminar, April 5, 2018
- Moderator, “Canada/US Tax and Estate Planning: Cross-Border Issues,” a full-day STEP Canada course, Calgary, November 8, 2016
- Moderator, “Planning After Incapacity,” STEP National Conference, Toronto, June 19, 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Bill C-43 Changes A Case Study on the Taxation of Estates and Testamentary Trusts,” Miller Thomson (Calgary) Tax Seminar, April, 2015
- Presenter, “Update on BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act,” STEP Calgary and STEP Edmonton Conference, March 18-19, 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Inter-Jurisdictional Estate Planning and Administration,” STEP Calgary, April 23, 2013
- Co-Presenter, “Charities & Not-for-Profit Update,” Miller Thomson (Calgary) Breakfast Seminar, October 25, 2011
- Co-Presenter with Robert Hayhoe, “Charities and Not-for-Profit Update,” Canadian Tax Foundation Prairie Provinces Tax Conference, May 30, 2011
- Co-Presenter, “Planned Charitable Giving – What’s New,” STEP Calgary, October 26, 2010
- “Charitable Giving: Advising Donors,” Advocis Calgary (Financial Planners Association), September 16, 2010
- “Gift Planning and Tax Issues Within an Estate; Providing for Charity in a Will following a Spousal Trust,” Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) Annual National Conference, May 14, 2010
- “Alberta’s new Estate Administration Act,” Wealth Matters, August 2015
- “Elimination of Graduated Rates for Testamentary Trusts,” Wealth Matters, Spring 2014
- “Alberta Societies Act Amended to Permit Continuance by Non-Profit Corporations,” Charities and Not-for-Profit Newsletter, May 2014
- “Federal Budget Review,” 2013
- “Environmental Liabilities: Executors and Attorneys Beware!” Wealth Matters, Fall 2012
- “Important Changes to Alberta Wills and Estate Law,” 2012
- “Alert: Important Changes to Alberta Wills and Estate Law,” 2012
- “Gifts by Will—Section 118.1(5),” Charities and Not-for-Profit Newsletter, May 2010
- “Residency of a Trust,” Wealth Matters, Spring 2010
- “Residency of a Charitable Trust,” Charities and Not-for-Profit Newsletter, February 2010
- “Gifts Made in Contemplation of Death,” Charities and Not-for-Profit Newsletter, January 2008
- Former Chair of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Calgary
- Member, Canadian Tax Foundation
- Member, Estate Planning Council of Calgary
- Member, The Law Society of Alberta
- Member, The Law Society of British Columbia
- Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- Member, Canadian Bar Association
Bar admissions & education
- British Columbia Bar, 1983
- Alberta Bar, 1979
- LL.B. (with distinction), University of Alberta, 1978
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
In the just released 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada, 144 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country have been recognized for their expertise in 47 areas of law. This includes 6 lawyers who were awarded “Lawyer of the Year” in...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2018 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 90 Miller Thomson lawyers across 35 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer review process...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory
In the recently released 2017 edition of the Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory, 79 Miller Thomson lawyers across 30 areas of law have been recognized for their industry-leading advisory expertise. These latest rankings are the culmination of an extensive annual peer...
Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017
126 Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country and in numerous areas of law have been recognized for their expertise in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada. This result is up from 122 lawyers ranked last year....
Lexpert recognizes 80 Miller Thomson lawyers
Miller Thomson is pleased to announce 80 lawyers across ten of our offices are recognized in the 2016 edition of The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as leading practitioners in their field. Published annually since 1997, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory...
Miller Thomson participation at 18th Annual STEP Canada Conference
Our National Private Client Services Group will be participating in and sponsoring the 18th annual STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Canada Conference scheduled from June 9 -10, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Over 700 delegates have registered,...
Gail Black appointed Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.)
Calgary partner Gail Black becomes Miller Thomson’s latest appointee to Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) Through a nomination process that takes place every two years, particularly eminent lawyers in Alberta are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the legal profession and public...
A record 122 Miller Thomson lawyers recognized in 2016 Best Lawyers in Canada
Miller Thomson lawyers from across the country were today recognized in The Best Lawyers® in Canada 2016. A total of 122 lawyers across various areas of law were recognized for their industry expertise—up from 107 last year. Miller Thomson is...
Miller Thomson’s participation at the STEP Canada Conference
Our National Private Client Services Group participated and were Gold Sponsors of the 17th annual STEP (Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners) Canada Conference on June 18 and 19, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The conference was a huge...
Miller Thomson recognized in 2014 Best Lawyers in Canada
We are pleased to announce that 80 Miller Thomson lawyers have been recognized in the 2014 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada (this is 15 more lawyers than last year). Seventeen lawyers are new to the list. Additionally, the following lawyers from...
Gail P. Black, Q.C. speaks on Tips and Tricks in Will and Incapacity Planning
Gail Black presents to clients of Sagium on “Tips and Tricks in Will and Incapacity Planning” on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.
Gail P. Black, Q.C. speaks on the top ten things advisors should know about estate planning
Gail P. Black, Q.C. speaks to Canaccord Genuity advisors on Tuesday June 6, 2017. Gail presents on the topic “Top Ten Things Advisors Should Know About Estate Planning”.
Miller Thomson speaks at STEP Canada conference
Gail Black moderates a session on “A Professional’s Toolkit for Identifying and Addressing Decisional Capacity and Undue Influence” on June 9. Rachel Blumenfeld presents “STEP Toronto on Jewish Laws of Inheritance and Estate Planning in Canada” on June 9. Martin Rochwerg...
Gail Black speaks on wills and gifting
Gail Black presents “21 Year Deemed Disposition Rule for Trusts & Changes in Wills and Gifting on Death in Light of Recent Tax Changes”.
Gail Black moderates session at STEP National Conference
Gail Black is the moderator at a presentation on “Planning After Incapacity” at the STEP National Conference in Toronto.
Gail Black speaks at STEP Calgary and STEP Edmonton Conference on March 18 & 19 as part of a panel on Legislative Update.
Presentation Topic: Update on BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act
Gail Black speaks on Estate Planning to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
Gail Black speaks on Estate Planning to the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
Gail Black is on the panel of speakers for the Wills & Trusts Law – South Section Meeting for the Canadian Bar Association December 13
Gail Black speaks on the topic “Drafting a Better Enduring Power of Attorney” at the Alberta South Elder Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association.
Calgary Annual Tax Update Seminar
Miller Thomson’s Calgary Tax Group hosts the annual tax update seminar that will cover: New tax rules affecting private corporations and their shareholders Reporting requirements for trusts Section 55 update Accessing corporate value on tax effective basis To register please click here.
Tax Update Seminar
Miller Thomson presents a complimentary tax seminar. This seminar is designed for accountants, financial advisors, tax professionals, private business owners, and others who deal with tax related issues. Our seminar focuses on: New Tax Rules affecting Trusts, Estates and Charitable...
Tax Update 2015 – Calgary
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Time: 7:00 a.m. – 7:25 a.m. Breakfast and Registration, 7:25 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Presentations Location: Calgary Petroleum Club, Devonian Room, 319 – 5 Ave S.W., Calgary, Alberta
Charities & Not-For-Profit Update
Miller Thomson hosts a breakfast seminar outlining updates in the Charities and Not-for-Profit sector.
Recent Developments in Estate Planning and Business Succession
Miller Thomson’s National Private Client Services Group hosts a seminar covering recent developments in Estate Planning and Business Succession.
Recent Tax Developments 2011 – Calgary
Miller Thomson’s Calgary Tax Group hosts a breakfast seminar on “Recent Tax Developments.”
Recent Developments in Estate Planning, Trusts and Tax
Miller Thomson’s Edmonton Office hosts a breakfast seminar discussing “Recent Developments in Estate Planning, Trusts and Tax.”
17th Annual National CAGP-ACPDP Conference
Miller Thomson lawyers speak and present at the 17th Annual National CAGP-ACPDP Conference: Marty Rochwerg and Gail Black present on “Gift Planning and Tax Issues within an Estate.” For more information, please click here. Rachel Blumenfeld and Kate Lazier present in a panel...
Gail Black will be speaking at a LESA course on Family Business Succesion.
Alberta’s new Estate Administration Act
On June 1, 2015, Alberta’s new Estate Administration Act (the “Act”) and some consequential amendments to the Surrogate Rules came into force. The Act takes a new approach in clearly setting out the duties, core tasks and notice requirements of...
Elimination of Graduated Rates for Testamentary Trusts
The 2014 Budget proposes to introduce a number of significant changes to the taxation of trusts and estates which will fundamentally change the landscape of estate planning. The Department of Finance (the “Department”) proposed these changes to eliminate the preferential...
Alberta Societies Act Amended to Permit Continuance by Non-Profit Corporations
The Legislative Assembly of Alberta recently passed Bill 12, the Statutes Amendment Act, 2014, into law on May 14, 2014. Among other things, Bill 12 amends the Societies Act to permit non-profit corporations incorporated under corporate statutes outside Alberta to...
Federal Budget Review 2013
Click here to view.
Environmental Liabilities: Executors and Attorneys Beware!
By now, most people assume that environmental legislation is based solely on the theory that the “polluter pays”, but few people think about what happens when an executor, attorney or trustee steps into the shoes of a former “polluter”. How...
Federal Budget Review
View the Federal Budget Review
Important Changes to Alberta Wills and Estate Law
Alert: Important Changes to Alberta Wills and Estate Law
Gifts by Will – Section 118.1(5)
On October 7, 2009, Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) issued a technical interpretation on: “Whether a gift by will may be claimed in a particular situation, where an individual died and the individual’s will instructed that the residue of the estate...
Residency of a Trust
On September 10, 2009, the Tax Court of Canada released its decision in Garron Family Trust v. Her Majesty the Queen and several other cases heard on common evidence (“Garron”). The Court held that two Barbados Trusts were resident in...