Wills and Privacy

By Howard Simmons Wills are a personal and private matter. The only ones who know what is in your will are you, your lawyer, and anyone you might tell. Otherwise, a will is a private matter. On your death, your will probably won’t remain a private matter. Most wills require your executor to probate your… Continue reading Wills and Privacy

Dealing with digital assets

By Howard Simmons The use of the computer and sites is rapidly changing. We need to be sure our families do not suffer after we are not here, says Howard Simmons while discussing the need to plan for digital assetsDavid Reynolds is a proud grandfather and a keen photographer. He has taken many pictures of… Continue reading Dealing with digital assets

A Princely Estate

By Howard Simmons Prince died at age 58. He had a net worth when he died of $300 million (US).  Estates of this magnitude usually have sophisticated tax, will, trust and other planning. Prince had none. He even died without a will. Prince had no wife, no children (yet known) and both his parents were… Continue reading A Princely Estate

A Living Will? A Personal Care Power of Attorney?

By Howard S. Simmons Who should make a medical decision if you (or your parents) cannot make it? For example, you are in a coma because of a car accident or suffering from dementia, and a surgeon needs a consent signed because of the risks of the operation. Who assesses the risks and makes the… Continue reading A Living Will? A Personal Care Power of Attorney?

Marriage: A New Form of Elder Abuse?

By Howard Simmons John Jones is 87-years-old, and was married to his wife for 62 years. She died a year ago. John was devastated at her loss. John’s two grown-up children would prefer if he moved to either of their homes, because of John’s failing health. However, John prefers to live alone at his house,… Continue reading Marriage: A New Form of Elder Abuse?

Handling undue influence

By Howard S. Simmons TEP Book review: Capacity and Undue Influence, by John ES Poyser (Toronto, Carswell, 2014), xxiv and 805 pp., $337 This review was originally published in Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal Volume 34 Number 3 May 2015 An older woman lives in Ottawa; her husband of 61 years died the previous year.… Continue reading Handling undue influence

Power of attorney for property

By Howard S. Simmons The Good, the Bad and the Ugly It is common and useful when doing a will to do a power of attorney for property. If you become mentally incapable because of age and illness, the one you trust can handle all your financial and business affairs. Unfortunately, not everything always ends… Continue reading Power of attorney for property

Snowbirds: Know your rights, responsibilities

If you are one of those people fortunate enough to spend some of your winter in warmer climates, here are a few tips by David Christianson published in the Winnipeg Free Press: Snowbirds: Know your rights, responsibilities