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Toronto Law Blog

Powers of Attorney for Property - Learning a lesson from NHL player Jack Johnson

Along with a properly drafted Will, a well-rounded estate plan includes a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care. The process of drafting these documents requires that you consider a number of questions. For example, you must consider who you trust to act as your estate trustee when you pass and who you trust to act as your attorney for property and attorney for personal care while you are living.

An early holiday gift has been sent to estate law practitioners - probate information returns

An early holiday gift has been sent to estate law practitioners. The Ministry of Finance has announced its long-anticipated new probate tax regulations under s.4.1 of the Estate Administration Tax Act, which remain in draft form but should be finalized before the end of the month.

Employers Required to "Leave" Family Caregivers Alone - New Leaves of Absence Available

Recent changes to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (Ontario) have made it possible for employees, who are subject to that Act, to take three new types of unpaid leaves of absence from their employment, which are as follows:

  1. Family Caregiver Leave;
  2. Critically Ill Childcare Leave; and
  3. Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave.

RRSPs and Child Support

Courts are generally protective of RRSP income since, ideally, that money is collected and preserved exclusively to provide for retirement. There are particular incentives, tax and otherwise, built into the RRSP regime to encourage Canadians to save this way. As a result we have seen courts (and the legislature) protect RRSPs from execution or seizure, even in the context of bankruptcy. That said, courts are reluctant to grant the same protection in the context of support or maintenance orders, and more broadly in the context of child support obligations. In fact, the Ontario Court of Appeal in Fraser v Fraser makes it clear: RRSP income should be treated as income for support purposes under the Guidelines even if the RRSP has been subject to equalization.

Want a Marriage Agreement that Won't be Overturned? Try these Tips

The purpose of a marriage contract is to set out terms that can be relied on in the event of a separation. However, courts can and do overturn agreements where they were negotiated under unfair circumstances or where the outcome would be unequitable. The good news is that there are steps you can take to increase the chances that your agreement will be upheld:

"Make a Will Month" may be ending - but it's not too late to make a Will

The Ontario Bar Association has declared November "Make a Will Month". Partnering with the Alzheimer's Association of Ontario, the OBA wants to "help Ontarians preserve their wishes and safeguard their loved ones by making a will." According to a recent survey by LawPro, fewer than half of Canadians have a valid Will.

Court of Appeal Affirms that a Life Interest Granted via Will is not Vulnerable to Creditors

A recent (and very brief) Court of Appeal decision, Policelli Estate v Zita, 2014 ONCA 810, confirms that there are ways in which estates can be structured in order to protect bequeathed property from the creditors of beneficiaries.

Supreme Court of Canada: "Duty of Honest Performance" is an implied term of all contracts in Canada

For decades, lawyers, Judges and academics have debated whether there is, or should be, a duty of good faith implied in all contracts.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Canada, in its decision of Bhasin v. Hrynew, did not go so far as to find that a duty of good faith is an implied term of all contracts. However, the Court did take a significant step in that direction by ruling that the common law of contracts in Canada includes a legal "duty of honest performance" which the Court described as a manifestation of the "general organizing principle of good faith that underlies many facets of contract law".

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