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Mississauga Wills & Estates Law Blog

Disputes over a family home can result in estate litigation

Many people consider the financial value of assets when planning the future of their estate, but what about the emotional value? Both money and memories can be tied up in a family cottage, making it a difficult thing to manage when the principal owners are no longer around. For this reason, the family cottage often ends up at the center of heated estate litigation involving Ontario families.

One of the things that can make cottages particularly difficult to manage in estate administration is the fact that many such properties are co-owned by additional family members. Added concerns, such as affordability and upkeep, can cause conflict within families. In some cases, families choose to simply sell the property once co-owners begin to pass away as they do not want to take responsibility for the property financially.

Bank drafts from estate administration stuck at US border

During the process of administering an estate, executors are tasked with sending money to beneficiaries. One thing that can complicate this step in estate administration is beneficiaries who live outside of Ontario, particularly if they are in different countries. An Ottawa executor is currently dealing with issues related to this as $500,000 in bank drafts are being held at the U.S. border.

Due to the high amount, the bank drafts were seized by border officials as being suspicious. Even after a year of waiting, the money is still being held at the border. To make matters worse, the intended recipient of the inheritance is in bad health. The executor is concerned the funds will not arrive while the beneficiary is still alive.

Will Planning: Protect Your Online Accounts

In the age of PayPal’s, rewards’ programs and kickstarters, securing your digital assets is often overlooked when drafting a will. Providing clear guidelines regarding your digital accounts – including social media accounts – can help you protect your digital assets, as well as your personal details.


Tips for picking executors without immediate family

Most people name a trusted child or spouse as executor of their will, but not everyone has this option. Many Ontario residents need to name executors even without close immediate family. When deciding who to choose as an executor, there are several factors to consider.

The first thing to consider when picking an executor is the individual's skill set. Executors should be honest, dependable, well organized, skilled at paperwork and good at meeting deadlines. Ideally, an executor will reside in the same province as the person whose will they will be executing. This will make it easier for the individual to oversee certain things, such as probate hearings and selling off property in the estate.

Family conflict can end in estate litigation

There are many things that can affect the execution of a will. The issue that lawyers, family trust officers and accountants say is the biggest threat to estate planning is family conflict. Without considering this issue and effectively communicating plans, many Ontario estates can get caught up in estate litigation.

Part of the reason family conflict is such a big issue is the diverse relationships. Blended families, ex-spouses and children from previous relationships can all complicate the estate planning and execution process. This is especially true when miscommunication and lofty expectations enter the mix.

How To Choose The Right Executor For Your Will

The executor, or estate trustee, of your will is the person who will administer your estate as per your instructions. This individual will be responsible for settling any debts, closing your accounts and dividing the remainder of your estate between your surviving beneficiaries.

When you choose an executor, it’s important that it’s someone you trust, someone who can handle the responsibilities of the role, and someone who will effectively resolve any issues that arise after you pass.

The Three Types Of Power Of Attorney

When loved ones fall ill or lose their mental capacity, family and friends often rally to their sides to look out for their interests. However, it can be hard for everyone to agree on what decisions are in the best interests of the incapacitated person.

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an appointed individual to make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated person. As a way to avoid disputes and resolve disagreements quickly, it’s important to understand what responsibilities a power of attorney possesses.

Growing Number Of Elders Push OBA Elder Law Section Into Action

The elder law section of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) was launched as a response to the growing number of boomers heading into their golden years. Now the group explains the type of issues they will be addressing, and how they hope to protect elder rights related to financial decisions and end-of-life planning.


A Poor-Quality Will May Divide Your Family

Wills are created, in part, to leave your remaining possessions as you wish to family and friends after you pass. However, shortcomings within the will, such as a lack of specific instructions, are only realized after the testator has passed away.

In a recent article in The Globe and Mail, one man remembers how the lack of clarity in his mother’s will drove some of his family members apart after her passing.

Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee

An estate trustee might not be able to start administering the estate right away. A death certificate might have to be provided together with a certificate of appointment of estate trustee (with or without a will), previously known as probate certificate.

However, some surviving family members may start accessing parts of the estate assets intended for another beneficiary. This can lead to disputes.