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Mississauga Wills & Estates Law Blog

How to protect against elder financial abuse

When preparing estate plans, many individuals focus on what will happen after they pass away. However, it is often just as important to consider what will happen if one becomes incapacitated.

In the event that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself, it’s important that your estate plan include arrangements to protect you – and prevent financial abuse.

Is gifting your house a good way to avoid probate?

Parents who intend for a child to take over the family home when they pass away are often concerned about the probate costs of such a transition. Some Ontario families consider cutting estate administration and probate costs out of the equation by gifting the home to adult children or adding them to the house deed.

While this may seem like a simple solution to some, there are many complexities to consider before making such a significant move.

Is it a good idea to name your sole beneficiary as your executor?

Settling on who will be responsible for executing your estate should not be taken lightly. While you may consider it a straightforward decision to name your primary beneficiary as your executor, there are some things worth considering first. This is especially true if you only have one beneficiary named to your estate.

First, there are some practical considerations involved in selecting an executor. Ideally, the individual should be younger than you are. Their health and location are also worth considering. Picking someone likely to outlive you and who is geographically close enough to perform estate administration tasks is usually recommended.

Managing estate administration when pets are involved

Pets are often considered family members. But what does the law say when furry friends are left behind in an estate?

Ontario families may be left in a bind when it comes to dealing with their pets in estate administration. Things can get even more difficult if there is not a clear person available to take in the pet, or no funds are left behind to care for a high-maintenance animal.

It's wise for young people to create an estate plan too

Writing a will is something often attributed to aging individuals who have accumulated a wide range of assets. However, younger individuals in Ontario should not overlook the value estate planning might have in their lives. Young adults may find that planning opens up important conversations, secures the future of loved ones and prevents litigation if they do happen to pass away unexpectedly.

It is hard for many young adults to imagine a circumstance in which they might pass away suddenly or become incapacitated. While this may seem unlikely, that does not mean it is impossible. Planning for this possibility can help ensure that children, assets, sentimental items and even online accounts are properly dealt with.

Xmas Cat

Some of you might have noticed that our websit has been hunted by a Xmas cat, notwithstanding that Easter is quickly approaching. Somehow our website provider has been having difficulties with removing the pickture, not to mention helping us with changing the website to provide new information for our clients and community in response to the issues created by the outbreak.

Government Assistance for Small Business Owners

1. The Government of Canada published Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan and offers a number of reliefs for Canadian Small Business. The full information is published on Government of Canada website at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html. Here are some programs that we tested.

How to manage an unwanted timeshare in estate administration

We often hear family members arguing over who inherits certain property after someone passes away. But what about disputes regarding unwanted property? For timeshare owners in Ontario and their families, this can be a real point of contention. Here are some things worth knowing when going through estate administration with a timeshare in the mix.

In some cases, one or more family members may decide that there is value in keeping a timeshare and choose to let it remain in the family. This is certainly an option, but it is worth considering all angles of this choice as soon as possible, including the issue of maintaining fees and who will use the property. This conversation is time-sensitive, as certain paperwork will be needed to renounce the claim on the timeshare inheritance.

How even careful planners can leave families in estate litigation

Many think that conflict over an individual's estate primarily occurs if someone does not leave a plan behind. But, the truth is, even those who feel they have a fairly solid estate plan in place can lead their families down a road to litigation by missing some important points. To avoid such issues, Ontario estate planners should ensure their will not only exists, but that it is up-to-date, detailed, and legally sound.

Regularly updating a will is critical to help families avoid litigation later. If one gets married, has children, gets divorced, acquires a major asset, or sells a major asset, it is important to update plans. What if a will leaves one child with money and the other with property, yet the property has been sold? What if an ex-spouse is incorrectly maintained as a beneficiary? There are many things that can go wrong when a will is not updated properly.