News & Publications

Personal Lawyers

Changes to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA)

Written by on September 07, 2018.

A change has occurred this year in Ontario which impacts the delivery of child welfare services to children, youth and families. The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) came into force on April 30, 2018, with Part X scheduled to come into force in January 2020. The Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) puts children and youth at the centre of decision making and supports more responsive and accessible service delivery to children, youth and families. Effective January 1, 20...

What is a Qualified Disability Trust?

Written by on July 24, 2018.

The Qualified Disability Trust (QDT) was created in 2016 to temper changes to the tax rules for testamentary trusts (trusts set up by a Will). All testamentary trusts used to benefit from the graduated tax rates, however this was changed to tax all testamentary trusts at the top marginal rate. The QDT is an exception to the new rule that all testamentary trusts are taxed at the top marginal rate. A QDT now has access to the graduated tax rates that previously applied to all testamentary trusts. ...

Guardianship Applications under the Children’s Law Reform Act

Written by on July 15, 2018.

A minor is considered to be a person under the age of eighteen years. In Ontario, a parent is automatically the guardian of the person of his or her minor child.[1] However, a parent is not automatically the guardian of property of his or her minor child.[2] In certain circumstances, a parent can receive the authority to manage the finances of his or her child by statute, court order, or other document, such as a Will or life insurance policy. Where an adult person does not have the legal aut...

Marriage: Divorce or Annulment in Family Law?

Written by on May 01, 2018.

I recently spoke to someone who had legally married a few months prior. This person explained that once married, she and her new spouse did not live together as husband and wife. They did not consummate their legal union; meaning they did not have sexual intercourse after they married.    The client asked how could they proceed to end their marriage. Should they have the union annulled or should they proceed to get a divorce? A very interesting question because there is difference between ...

‘Predator’ Spouse, Take Note of Hunt v. Worrod

Written by on April 10, 2018.

Predatory marriages have drawn a lot of attention in recent years. They are believed to be on the rise. For families with single, elderly family members, this phenomenon is alarming. For Ontario’s estate litigators, the governing legal principles are infuriating. Too often in the past, the predatory spouse has prevailed because the common law offers limited recourse; that is, until Hunt v. Worrod.[1] Released in December 2017, Hunt v. Worrod may just have changed the legal landscape of predato...

Financial Exploitation and Elder Abuse

Written by on February 21, 2018.

What is Elder Abuse? [1] Several millennia have passed since, according to the Book of Genesis, Jacob and his mother, Rebecca, conspired to trick Isaac who was, according to biblical scholars, by then an ailing and blind 130 year old man. They tricked him into believing that Jacob was his brother, Esau, thereby securing for Jacob an inheritance that was to go to Esau. Things worked out rather well for Jacob, what with his 12 sons, one of whom, with his multi-hued coat, inspired a musical. Thin...

Concerned Beneficiary? Court Finds Will Challenges Must Have Minimal Evidentiary Basis

Written by on February 07, 2018.

The recent decision in Seepa v Seepa, 2017 ONSC 5368 contains observations that may have an impact on future Will challenges under Rule 75.06 of the Rules of Civil Procedure and in particular, on the materials that must be placed before the court in the “Motion for Directions”, which typically initiates a Will challenge. The parties were the two children of the deceased. The deceased had created a new Will not long before she passed, and she left the residue of her Estate to her young...

Twelve FAQ for Wills and Estates

Written by on January 03, 2018.

Siskinds’ Will and Estate Lawyers respond to hundreds of calls each year. Here is a list of the questions I am most frequently asked, and my standard responses. How do we find out if there is a will? What happens in an intestacy? When is there a reading of the will? How do I get a copy of the will? What is required for a will to be valid? If there is more than one will, which one is valid? When should I receive my inheritance? The estate trustee (executor) is not resp...

How Will My Personal Injury Settlement Affect My Family Law Separation or Divorce?

Written by and on December 06, 2017.

When a personal injury matter settles, there are two primary ways the settlement can be paid out for an adult claimant: a lump sum cash payment, or a structured settlement. A structured settlement is created when some or all of a personal injury settlement is deposited with a life insurance company in exchange for guaranteed tax-free payments for a specific number of years or for the recipient’s lifetime. While it is common to structure the payments on a monthly basis, the structure can als...

Video Testimonial – Insurance

Written by on November 09, 2017.

Our client suffered from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), causing her to take time off work due to the pressure in her chest. The insurance company limited her compensation. Civil litigation lawyer, Dagmara Wozniak, provided the legal support that our client needed to feel comfortable in the court room. She tells her story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbtoOEmfsIo&feature=youtu.be [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbtoOEmfsIo&feature=youtu.be[/e...