Private Client Services

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Due Execution of Wills: The Ontario Case of Bayford v Boese

A deceased individual’s will can be challenged for a number of reasons after death.  For example, a will may be challenged on the basis that it was not executed in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Succession Law Reform...

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How Long is “awhile”?: Kirst Estate (Re) and Holographic Wills

A recent decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, Kirst Estate (Re), provides a useful reminder of some of the issues that may arise through the use of holographic wills. William Kirst (the “Testator”) of Calgary, Alberta died...

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Over-Involved Adult Children Run the Risk of Invalidating a Parent’s Will or Power of Attorney: The Case of Graham v Graham

For a will to be valid, not only is it important that formal statutory requirements be satisfied,[1] but the testator (being the person executing the will) must also have testamentary capacity to make the will. In addition, if the testator...

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Wills Variation: An Unjustified Infringement on Testamentary Autonomy?

In Lawen Estate v. Nova Scotia (Attorney General), 2019 NSSC 162 (“Lawen”), the Nova Scotia Supreme Court found that the Nova Scotia dependants’ relief legislation violated s. 7 of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the “Charter”). Dependants’ relief, or...

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Estate Freezes Belong in the Tax Planning Garden

The Financial Post recently published an article claiming that “[r]ich Canadians are getting out of paying taxes with ‘estate freezes’” and calling for the elimination of this “garden-variety” tax planning. Whether or not one agrees that wealthy Canadians should pay...

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Severing a Joint Tenancy by Will; Marley v. Salga, 2019 ONSC 3527

In an unusual decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Marley v. Salga, 2019 ONSC 3527, released June 6, 2019), Mr. Justice Reid may have opened a Pandora’s Box with respect to the sanctity of the holding of property...

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Death During a Divorce

What happens when someone dies after they have separated and before they have divorced or settled the matrimonial property issues?  Does the death of one of the parties end the divorce proceedings?  How is the property divided?  What can a...

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Daniel Estate (Re): A “‘Good News’ Story”

One’s choice of estate trustee, attorney for property and attorney for personal care is an important one.  An estate trustee faces the responsibility of administering your estate in accordance with your Will(s) following your passing, thus being the one carrying...

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Many Canadians Collect Loyalty Points, but What Happens to Those Loyalty Points After We Pass Away?

In most cases, loyalty points will not be subject to the deemed disposition on death found in subsection 70(5) of the Income Tax Act (Canada) because they are unlikely to be capital property. There is no “enduring benefit” gained from...

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BCBCA Beneficial Ownership Register

In 2017, Canadian finance ministers entered into an Agreement to Strengthen Beneficial Ownership Transparency. The finance ministers agreed to introduce certain safeguards to prevent corporations and other legal entities from being used for tax evasion and other criminal purposes, including...

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Top Ranked Practice

Miller Thomson is recognized as a top-ranking Band 1 firm for Private Wealth Law – Canada in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide (2019).

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Miller Thomson on Estate Planning

This publication, published by Thomson Reuters, offers insight into estate planning, trusts, estate administration, insurance planning, charitable planning, business succession and corporate restructuring and the legal implications of cross-border issues.

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