Renewed Interest in Wills and Estates

Once known as probate fees, the official name is now the Estate Administration Tax Public interest in wills and estates seems to be on the increase. Maybe that’s because we’re still grappling with Ontario’s new legislation which came into effect January 1,...

Add a Deed of Gift to your Will and Probate proof “Toolbox”

The Deed of Gift is, perhaps, a less familiar legal instrument that works nicely with will, estate and probate planning to minimize your exposure to unnecessary probate fees. (Please note that what was formerly called probate is now referred to as...

Double or Dual Wills – How to Reduce Probate Fees

Have you made your will? This is the standard question when it comes to making sure that your financial affairs are in order, with respect to your wishes, for the benefit of those who will survive you: family, friends, charities and so on. (Please review our section...

Estate Trustee? What ERAssure is and why you need it!

Estates and Taxes - The Estate Trustee is Responsible In a previous blog, we reviewed some key changes in Ontario legislation concerning estates and estate trustees. Perhaps the one with the most far reaching consequences is that estates now fall under the...

New Ontario legislation, as of January 1, 2013 to govern Estate Executors

DEATH and TAXES - Serving as an Estate Executor While we don’t want to think about the eventual demise of a loved one, friend or relative, we know that, taxes, like death are inevitable. And so, being asked to serve as an Estate Executor is generally regarded as a...

For 2013, try these 12 Legal & Financial Tips for 12 months of the New Year!

Approaching the New Year, some use the occasion to make the traditional, New Year’s vow. Whether your promise is to stop smoking, renew an old friendship or save more, setting a goal for the New Year is all about, well, renewal; come January 1 the calendar rolls...

Find the will to make a will this week.

One section of my website focuses on wills, encouraging you to have one, along with such other important documents as powers of attorney. But let’s start with wills. Common accepted wisdom suggests that you to update your will every 3 to 5 years. But this piece of...


Wills and Estate Planning

Wills and Estate Planning - Howard Nightingale - Toronto LawyerHoward Nightingale Professional Corporation understands that the end of life of family members and friends are difficult times. Clients charged with the responsibility of looking after the affairs of the deceased struggle with grief while trying to think rationally about complex legal instruments that affect not only themselves but others as well. Part of being a lawyer is to provide our clients with as much peace of mind as we can through sound and competent legal advice along with attention to detail in executing all arrangements on their behalf. From inception to completion, Howard Nightingale ensures that wills and powers of attorney are concluded in the best interest of our clients.

To help you make an initial evaluation of your needs, please read the brief descriptions, below, of the key legal instruments available to you:

  • Wills: A will can be simple or complex, depending on specific financial and family circumstances. The more intricate the situation is, the more is the need for legal consultation to achieve the necessary clarity and thoroughness required to realize the client’s wishes as set out in the will’s instructions.
  • Dual Wills: Some clients can benefit from an instrument known as the dual will. This offers the possibility of setting aside certain assets such as securities which can be exempted from probate fees. In this way, the main will is focused only on those assets subject to the estate tax, effectively reducing the overall tax payable. For more information, please refer to double-or-dual-wills-how-to-reduce-probate-fees.
  • Powers of Attorney: The basic concept of powers of attorney is to anticipate the possibility that at some point in the future the client might be unable to make on-going and necessary financial and medical decisions. In such a situation, the client will need a trusted person to make these decisions in the client’s best interest. While the concept is simple enough, there can be complications. Effective legal counseling, as provided by Howard Nightingale Professional Corporation can help anticipate and prepare for them.
  • Estate Planning: The estate is the property owned by the client, or in which the client has a legal interest. Essentially, it refers to the remaining assets and liabilities after the client is deceased. Yes, the government will tax the estate’s assets, so planning is important. As well, estate planning will ensure that the estate is apportioned and distributed in accordance with the client’s wishes.
  • Trusts: There are many reasons for establishing a trust, and they vary according to circumstances. For example, if clients do not wish the assets to be immediately distributed when the will is executed, such as when the beneficiary is a minor, a trust is created to hold those assets, along with a trustee being appointed to manage these assets for the beneficiary. Howard Nightingale Professional Corporation will help clients determine what trust will best meet their needs.

Howard Nightingale has the knowledge and experience to protect you and your family, providing effective wills, powers of attorney, estate planning and administration, safeguarding you and your wishes.


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