Appointing a non-resident as your executor? Here is what you need to know about administrative bonds.

will lawyer estate ottawaActing as an executor (estate trustee) can be a daunting and challenging task in the best of times. The requirement for an administrative or estate bond can add another layer of complexity to an already complicated situation.
An administrative or estate bond may be required in various situations. For example, an executor (estate trustee) or individual applying for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (probate) may be required to post a bond where, for example, the deceased did not leave a Will, the executor named in the Will is not a resident of Ontario or the individual applying to the Court was not named in the Will as an executor.

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gift cottage estate planning

Thinking of buying a cottage during COVID-19? This blog is for you!

gift cottage estate planningThe COVID-19 pandemic will leave significant damage to many sectors of the Canadian economy in its wake. One sector that appears to be not only escaping this damage but thriving during the pandemic, however, is the cottage real estate market. Cottage sales have actually surged in recent months. Many speculate that this has much to do with the COVID-19 pandemic itself. An increased number of people are now able, and sometimes encouraged, to work remotely which makes extended stays at the cottage that much easier. Also, lengthy periods of quarantine in urban centres have sparked a desire in many for an increased connection with more rural landscapes.
We have blogged on issues relating to cottage ownership several times in the past and thought it would be helpful to those considering the purchase of a cottage during COVID-19 to have the links to many of these blogs in one place.

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probate lawyer stittsville

Changes to Ontario’s Probate Fees

probate lawyer stittsvilleOntario has some of the highest probate fees in Canada. A small reduction was announced in last year’s budget and took effect on January 1, 2020.

What is probate?

Where a person dies leaving a Will, the Executor (now called an ‘Estate Trustee’) obtains their authority to act on behalf of the deceased from the Will. Depending upon the assets owned by the deceased, it is sometimes necessary to ‘probate’ the Will.

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5 Steps to Make Things Easier for Your Executor

stittsville lawyer estate willWe’ve heard it said that acting as an executor is one of the hardest jobs that you never applied for. It is also one for which most don’t receive any training.
If you are like most people, you have likely appointed a family member or close friend to act as your executor. This person may have little to no knowledge as to what acting as an executor actually entails. They may be wholly unprepared for the enormity of the role. There are, however, steps that you can take to make the job of acting as your executor a little easier.

Step 1: Let your executor know where your original Will and other important documents are stored.

Your executor derives their authority to act from your Will and will need to have access to your original Will upon your death. Be sure to advise him or her as to where your original last Will is stored. This might be at your lawyer’s office, home safe, or safe deposit box. Access to a safe deposit box can be restricted upon your death so be sure to discuss this with your bank. Also leave instructions for your executor as to the location of all personal papers including passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.

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Judges and Masters’ Thoughts on Estate and Family Law

will estate familyPersona Law Group has always been, and will always be, about the quality of our work and the personal approach we bring to each of our clients. As part of our ongoing efforts to keep apprised of the latest developments in estates and family law, last month, one of our team members attended an insightful event, kindly organized by the Canadian Bar Association. At the event entitled ‘Dinner with Your Honourable Ottawa Estates Judges’, Judges and a Master of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice shared their valuable observations to lawyers, in order to save the clients’ they serve valuable time and money.
Our Persona Law Group team members strive to provide our estate planning clients with comprehensive Wills and Powers of Attorney documents that will become a true gift to loved ones left behind.

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stittsville lawyer estate will

Acting as an Executor? What You Need To Know About the Estate Information Return

stittsville lawyer estate willI’m an executor and have been told that I need to file an Estate Information Return. What is that?

An Estate Information Return (EIR) is a government form requiring details about an estate and probate, particularly about the values of the assets of the estate and how these values were obtained. If you are acting as an executor (now called an estate trustee) and have received a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee from the Court, you must file an EIR with Ontario’s Ministry of Finance. It may be filed electronically, by fax or mail, and must be received by the Ministry within 90 calendar days of the Certificate being issued.

I filed the EIR a couple of months ago but just learned that I may have made a mistake on one of the asset values. What should I do?

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kanata stittsville lawyer will

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’m executor of my brother’s estate….how do I deal with all of his digital assets?

stittsville wills estates lawyer
Unfortunately for executors, there is not much guidance to be gleaned from the law when it comes to dealing with a deceased’s digital assets. Quite simply, the law has not kept up with the rapid pace of technology in relation to what an executor should or should not do with a person’s digital assets upon their death.
That being said, drawing upon what the law does say with respect to how an executor is required to deal with the deceased’s assets and what we know about digital assets in general, here are the steps an executor should take with respect to the deceased’s digital assets:

Steps for Dealing with a Deceased’s Digital Assets

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Changes to the Principal Residence Exemption

estate planning lawyer stittsville
Do the changes to the principal residence exemption affect you?

The Senators in the playoffs, temperatures in the twenties, and tulips beginning to bloom…we think it is safe to say that spring has finally and truly arrived in Ottawa (although our friends to the west who have yet to put away their snow shovels may not agree). Another sure sign of spring is the bustling spring real estate market. This brings to mind changes to the principal residence exemption which were announced by the federal government last fall.
Generally speaking, when a capital property such as a home or cottage is sold, an individual is taxed on the increase (or ‘gain’) in the value of the property. The gain is calculated from the date it was acquired by the individual to the date it was sold. However, if the property disposed of qualifies as the individual’s principal residence, he or she can take advantage of the principal residence exemption to reduce or eliminate any taxes owing on the capital gain.

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