Advise common-law clients to plan for split

divorceCommon-law spouses enjoy the same spousal support rights as married couples under the Family Law Act (Ontario) if they’ve lived together continuously for more than three years or had a child together.

But in Ontario, common-law spouses don’t enjoy the same property rights as their married counterparts.

And if you fail to advise clients of how the law handles separation for common-law couples, they could face nightmarish legal battles lasting years and costing tens of thousands of dollars.

But this War-of-the-Roses scenario is avoidable. Sigue leyendo

Keeping Funeral Costs Affordable

Funeral CostsAnyone who’s put a loved one to rest knows that death is not cheap. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average adult funeral cost $6,560 in 2009 (their most current data). That doesn’t even include such common add-ons as a cemetery plot, headstone, flowers, obituaries and limousine, which can add thousands to the bill.

Because death is a frequently avoided topic, many people aren’t armed in advance with information about the many variables — and costs — involved in planning a funeral. Thus, just when survivors are grieving and most vulnerable, they’re bombarded by decisions that must be made quickly, often without even knowing what their loved one would have wanted.

The key message for the living is to decide on your preferred funeral arrangements Sigue leyendo

Estate Planning For A Loved One With Special Needs

special needs

disable

For many families, taking care of a loved one with special needs is a daily challenge. Whether it is a child, sibling or other family member, the compassion and caring instincts can be overwhelming. But when it comes to the specific estate planning needs and desires of these situations, it can be very important to look at all the contingencies.

While you want to make sure that your loved ones needs will be met or surpassed, you also need to make decisions that will benefit your overall estate plans at the same time. If your planning also involves family members without special needs, specific considerations should be in place that will maximize the overall benefit to your family, while not sacrificing your special needs plans.

Seven Factors To Consider: Sigue leyendo

Who Makes the Best Executor or Trustee?

trustee

trustee

Choosing the right person or people to handle the management of your assets after you die merits a lot of thought. While it’s pretty common to appoint a family member or friend, that’s not your only choice. A lot depends on your personal situation — both the complexity of your estate as well as family dynamics.

Appointing a family member can be seen as a symbol of love and faith. However, in the case of multiple siblings, it could be interpreted as an expression of trust in one child over another. So I can understand the dilemma. But while there’s an emotional component to this choice, you need to try to keep sentiment in check. To me, it’s really about who will do the best job. Sigue leyendo