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Tax Planning And Estate Law

Tax issues for Canadians Residing in the US

We have written two other case reviews concerning the decision in Rubner v. Bistricer. The first addressed the determination of the validity of a testamentary document while the testator was still alive and the second addressed with whether a letter was sufficient to create a trust. In this blog we are focusing on what appears to have been Brenda Bistricer’s driving motivation in taking certain positions.
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Validity Of Will

Reviewing the validity of wills while a testator is still alive

The Rubner case is instructive for those dealing with elder issues, will drafting and the creation of trusts. Accordingly, we decided to write several blogs with a focus on how Justice Myers of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dealt with these separate issues. This particular blog reviews how and why His Honour went about determining the validity of a will while the testator is still alive.
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Forced-sale

Can you compel an executor to sell?

A parent dies and the adult children become equal beneficiaries of the residue of the parent’s Estate.The Estate is primarily made up of income producing real estate holdings that remain profitable. Some of the siblings want to continue to operate the properties, while other siblings want the properties to be sold and converted to money to be distributed to the beneficiaries. Does a beneficiary have the right to force an executor to sell real property that forms part of the Estate?
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Elder Care

Paying Children to Care for their Parents?

When children grow up and start families of their own, they remain involved in their parents’ lives to varying degrees. Across Ontario, adult children are faced with choices concerning the care of their elderly parents. Some will elect to live with their parents and provide personal care. When private nursing costs tens of thousands of dollars per year, should the adult child who elects to care for a parent at home be allowed to claim compensation for the care provided? If so, how much compensation is reasonable?
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Doctors and DNRs

In my research I came across the case of Douglas DeGuerre. His daughter, Joy Wawrzyniak, was the power of attorney for personal care. She wanted a full response including CPR in case of a heart attack. The doctors ignored her directions. Instead, they placed a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) note on DeGuerre’s file because the doctors felt that medical intervention would only prolong his suffering. The doctors did not tell the daughter about the change and felt they were not obliged under the Sunnybrook policy. Mr. DeGuerre passed away and the legal proceedings started. As reported in various newspapers and case law, the family complained to the College and lost. They appealed to Ontario’s health Professions Appeal and Review Board. Notwithstanding the fact that the Board and later on the College and disciplinary board rebuking them, the doctors were unrepentant. The family launched a law suit seeking $1,000,000 in damages. The trial is pending. I empathize with the family. Let me tell you why.
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Limitation Period Cheat Sheet

This cheat sheet is intended as a quick reference guide for estate litigators dealing with limitation periods. For a comprehensive review of this topic I refer the reader to articles written by senior members of the bar I have found very useful which I believe are worthwhile to review.
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End Of Life Decisions – Do Doctors Have The Right To Decide?

The doctors argued that, in this context, “treatment” as defined in the Act does not include the withholding or withdrawal of treatment that had no medical value to the patient. Hence, the withdrawal of such treatment could be done without the patient’s consent. The doctors argued that the Act merely enshrined the common law which recognized a doctor’s right to withhold or withdraw treatment. The doctors further argued that according to the common law they were not permitted to continue “inhumane” treatment even if the patient or his substitute decision-maker demanded it.
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Are Promises Enforceable?

Lora and Jeffrey started living together.  As their 23 month relationship grew stronger Jeffrey promised Lora that when he died Lora would get his RRSPs worth about $1,750,000 as long as they were still living together.  Jeffrey insisted that Lora sign a cohabitation agreement before he would keep his promise. …

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