real estate lawyer ottawa stitttsville

Substitute Decision-Making for Property

real estate lawyer ottawa stitttsvilleIn a blog posted last week, we explored the different types of substitute decision-makers that can be appointed with respect to personal care. In this blog, we will turn our attention to substitute decision-makers with respect to property.

I’m not sure if my dad has the capacity to sign a Power of Attorney for Property?

In a Power of Attorney for Property, the ‘grantor’ (the person signing the document) appoints one or more persons to make decisions on their behalf with respect to their property. In order to have the required mental capacity to sign a Power of Attorney for Property, among other things, the grantor must know what kind of property they have and its approximate value as well as appreciate the authority that they are giving to the Attorney.

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Canada’s First National Dementia Strategy Released

will powers of attorney kanata“Like many Canadians, dementia is personal for me”, shared Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor in her recent tweet. Based upon the experiences of our clients, we can attest that this is a statement echoed by many, many Canadians. A few days later, on June 17, 2019, the Federal Government, through its Public Health Agency of Canada, released its first national dementia strategy entitled “A Dementia Strategy for Canada: Together We Aspire” (the ‘Strategy’).

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RRSP Rollover to RDSP…Can it be done?

kanata stittsville lawyer willYes, it is possible for a deceased’s RRSP to rollover to a beneficiary’s RDSP. Let’s start by looking at the tax treatment of RRSPs and RRIFs on death.

Deemed Disposition Upon Death

You may have heard that when a person dies, there is what is called a ‘deemed disposition’ of all of their assets. This means that the deceased’s assets are treated, for tax purposes, as being sold or cashed in immediately prior to death.
When it comes to RRSPs and RRIFs, generally speaking the fair market value of the RRSP/RRIF is included in the deceased’s income for the year of death. It is then taxed as ordinary income at the deceased’s marginal rate. As you can imagine, this often results in a significant tax bill for the deceased’s estate.

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I’ve heard the Public Guardian will act as a guardian of property…how does that happen?

will estate lawyer stittsvilleThe Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (‘PGT’) is under the umbrella of Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General. One of the mandates of the PGT is the protection of individuals who have been found to be mentally incapable of managing their property. In such instances, the PGT may become a person’s statutory guardian of property.

Why is it called a ‘statutory’ guardian of property?

The role is called a ‘statutory’ guardian as it is created pursuant to a written law or ‘statute’. In Ontario, that statute is the Substitute Decisions Act (‘SDA’). The statute sets out how substitute decisions makers are appointed, including how the PGT becomes the statutory guardian of property of an incapable person.

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Elder Abuse: Where to go for Help

wills lawyer stittsvilleGenerally speaking, elder abuse is any act that harms or threatens to harm someone who is 65 or older. Elder abuse can include physical, financial, emotional and sexual assault as well as neglect in the care of a senior. The results of a recent study on elder abuse are staggering:

  • In 2015, more than 750,000 Canadian seniors were the victims of some form of abuse;
  • Psychological abuse is the type most often committed with financial abuse as the second highest form of abuse;
  • 37% of financial abuse against seniors is perpetrated by a child or grandchild with only 10% committed by a stranger;
  • In most kinds of elder abuse, the perpetrator is more often a spouse, child or grandchild.

Given our aging demographics, it is expected that elder abuse will increase over the next few decades.

Is elder abuse a crime?

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My son has a RDSP. What happens to the RDSP if I pass away?

ottawa wills estates lawyer
Proper advice for RDSPs is essential.

Let’s begin by identifying the key players. The individual who opens and manages a Registered Disability Savings Plan (‘RDSP’) is known as the ‘holder’. The holder is also responsible for making or authorizing contributions to the RDSP. The ‘beneficiary’ is the individual with a disability for whom the RDSP was established.
The rules surrounding who can be a holder and who becomes the holder when the beneficiary reaches the age of majority can be confusing. These rules are a combination of the provincial laws dictating the age of majority, general laws regarding a person’s competency to enter into a contract, and federal laws governing the setting up of RDSPs.

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