Can a will be written on any surface?
Summary: Throughout history people have written their wills in very interesting places.
Australia, 1984: a man wrote a will on the wall of his bedroom. In London, England it is rumoured a will was written on the door of a man’s house in red chalk. In Saskatchewan a will was written on a tractor’s fender. A pilot in the 1920s wrote his will on an egg shell. If the court registrar is required to see the original will, what is a lawyer to do?
Separation and Estate Planning – Don’t Forget Powers of Attorney!
There are good reasons to visit an estate planning lawyer as well as a family lawyer upon separation. Many people realize that separation is a good time to change their Will, but many do not realize that their Will is not legally affected by the separation.
While separation does not change a Will, divorce has some automatic impact: clauses in a Will that deal with the former spouse are rendered invalid. While this prevents a former spouse from acting as estate trustee or benefiting from a person’s estate, this is not a perfect solution. For instance, if you do not create a new Will, you may no longer have a valid appointment of Trustee clause. And, if you have left gifts to members of your former spouse’s family, the divorce will not undo these gifts that you may no longer wish to make.
RESPs – Wrinkles and Warts
Summary: RESPs – How to deal with an RESP on a subscriber’s death
As we know, a Registered Education Savings Plan (“RESP”) can be a good vehicle to help parents set aside funds for their children’s post-secondary education in Canada, mainly because a parent can contribute up to a maximum of $50,000.00 for each child that is named as a beneficiary in a RESP and because of the Canada Education Savings Grant and other government incentives creating a source of tax deferred income. The key to remember though is that RESP’s are not a trust at law.