News & Publications

Estate Litigation

Whittling Down Our Testamentary Freedom

Written by on January 21, 2016.

Testamentary freedom – the principle that a person of sound mind is free to leave his or her estate to whomever they like, for whatever reason, and without explanation– is a deeply entrenched notion in Canadian common law and society. However, as those of us in the estates and trust field know quite well, testamentary freedom is not absolute; it is subject to numerous constraints and limitations. One such limitation arises from the doctrine of public policy which can void bequests that a...

Daniel Strickland Quoted in Canadian Lawyer Magazine

Written by on October 21, 2015.

Daniel Strickland was recently quoted in Canadian Lawyer Magazine for his knowledge about estate planning for people with special needs. By Marg Bruineman Looming changes to the Income Tax Act introduce a “whole new world” to the future of estate planning in Canada, calling into question the value of the use of trusts as a tool to achieve tax savings on investments. There are also concerns that one of the changes is misdirected and could have unintended consequences. “They will ch...

US Estate and Gift Tax: Part I – an introduction

Written by on October 05, 2015.

Canada has not had estate and gift taxes since their repeal in 1972.[i] It will be a surprise for many Canadians that they could still be subject estate and gift taxes under US tax law. Canadian residents who are not US citizens can be subject to tax on assets owned in the United States including US real property and stocks. Overview of US tax attributes The US Internal Revenue Code (IRC) imposes tax liability depending on a taxpayer’s classification as: (1) a US citizen; (2) a US resident a...

Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning for People with Disabilities and their Families

Written by and on June 01, 2014.

Introduction Families are very familiar with positive planning processes that are focused on helping their child with disabilities to have a good life. You may have had help by many people in your unique situation to develop a good plan: extended family and friends, members of your child’s support circle, other families in similar circumstances, or facilitators. In order for your plan to continue after you are gone, it is also necessary to develop a will and estate plan. Your lawyer’s resp...

Predatory Marriage: A Modern Day Marriage Trap

Written by on January 07, 2014.

Predatory marriages are a developing phenomenon in Ontario. Predatory spouses take advantage of elderly victims and assume control of their financial affairs. This can have severe consequences for the victim and their family. Recently Canadian courts have taken a stricter stance on what sort of capacity is required for marriage. In this article, Dagmara Wozniak looks at the issue and some of the relevant laws. Predatory marriages are a developing phenomenon. The term “predatory marriage” ...