News & Publications

Wills & Estate Administration

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...

RDSPs: working with Henson Trusts

Written by on March 05, 2015.

Prior to the introduction of the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) in 2008, the most prudent financial planning tool for parents with a child suffering from prolonged and severe disabilities was the Henson trust. RDSPs have not made the Henson trust obsolete; it can be used jointly with the RDSP to optimize the long-term savings opportunities. Trusts A trust is a legal arrangement whereby property is held by one person (the Trustee) for the benefit of another (the Beneficiary). A trust...

Capacity and Powers of Attorney

Written by on November 25, 2014.

When we speak about “capacity” in the legal sense, we are considering whether a person can make a decision in a certain set of circumstances and understand the consequences of making, or not making, the decision. The decision maker does not necessarily need to make the “best” or the “right” decision, so long as they are able to appreciate the consequences. The legal test for capacity varies based on the type of decision that the person is making. Generally, any decision will fit...

Guardianship Applications and the Substitute Decisions Act

Written by on November 25, 2014.

Usually, a power of attorney document will be used when a person becomes incapable. However, if that person did not have a power of attorney for property or personal care before they became incapable, a decision maker may have to be appointed by the court under the Substitute Decisions Act. This is known as a guardianship application. Guardians can be appointed to make personal care decisions for the incapable person or to make property decisions for the person. One person can be a guardian...

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...

What are the Requirements of a Legal Will in Ontario?

Written by and on October 03, 2013.

Siskinds lawyer Laura Geddes writes about what is required in order for a will to be considered valid. Often people attempt to write their own will, but if it does not conform to the legal guidelines then it will not be recognized and it may not be possible to follow through on their wishes. Many people do not like to think about what will happen to their possessions when they die and many would also like to avoid a trip to their lawyer’s office. When it comes to making a will, you may think t...