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February 2018 Archives

End-of-life care in estate planning

When it comes to end-of-life decisions, proper planning is crucial. In Ontario, estate planning documents may include a health care directive that provides the Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) with guidance about the patient's wishes regarding end-of-life medical treatment. Such guidance would be extremely helpful for the appointed SDM when a serious decision has to be made under very stressful circumstances.

"Medical" power of attorney and estate planning in Ontario

When someone is given a "medical" power of attorney (power of Attorney for Personal Care), the individual appointed as the attorney can make medical decisions on behalf of the person who granted that authority. The attorney for personal care can make decisions about such matters as the person's health care, living situation, hygiene, nutrition, clothing and safety.

Estate planning: Bidding a fond farewell to social media accounts

Almost everyone uses a computer these days. Most residents in Canada have a presence on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But what happens to those accounts when the person to whom they belong dies? That question can actually be answered ahead of time by everyone who takes the time to do some estate planning.

Estate planning in Canada: What happens to RRIFs after death?

Many people work hard all their lives to be able to enjoy their retirement years, but also to be able to leave something for their loved ones after they pass away. Part of good estate planning in Canada means knowing how to best maximize investments such as a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). But what happens to an RRIF after someone dies? The answer basically hinges on two things: whether a beneficiary is named and, if so, who that beneficiary is.

The all-encompassing job of executors in Canada

When writing a will, the testator (the writer) needs to name an executor. But what, exactly, does an executor do in Canada? Executors carry out the provisions of a decedent's will. But it's not always easy and it can be emotionally exhausting, so it's important to choose the right person for the job and to discuss it beforehand with the person to ensure he or she would be up to the task.

Multiple wills in Ontario may be better than one for tax purposes

Every adult should have a will. But there may be instances in Ontario where having multiple wills may be even more prudent, especially when it comes to lowering estate administration taxes as they're now known. Ontario is actually the only province to allow dual wills to assist with probate fees, which are amongst the highest in the country. Tax on the first $50,000 in assets of an estate is 0.5 percent, while any amount over that gets taxed with a 1.5 percent probate tax.