Real Estate

Surveying Settlement – Mapping Mediation Strategies for Real Estate Disputes

Surveying Settlement — Mapping Mediation Strategies for Real Estate Disputes (January, 2018)

(An edited version of this article originally appeared in The Lawyer’s Daily.)

This is the second of a three-part series in which I share practical mediation advice, in different areas, based on my work as a mediator and mediation lawyer (or, Settlement Counsel). Previously, I discussed  wrongful dismissal cases. In this segment, I survey strategies for maximizing settlement opportunities through mediating neighbour disputes, claims arising out of purchase and sale agreements, and mortgage enforcement.

Read more →

Seven Estate Planning Tips for Spouses

7 Estate Planning Tips for Spouses

1. Make a Will

If you die without a will, the provincial government decides how your assets will be distributed under intestacy rules.

Many people incorrectly assume that if they die without a will their estate would pass to their spouse. This is not necessarily the case. In Ontario, for a spouse to inherit from your estate they must be married to you [common law spouses do not automatically inherit under intestacy rules!].

If you have children, your spouse will receive a “preferential share” up to $200,000 worth of your assets. The remainder of your estate will be divided as follows:

  • If you have one child, your child and spouse will split the remainder.
  • If you have more than one child, your spouse receives one third, and your children will split two thirds equally.

Making a valid will prevent the intestacy laws above from taking effect as well as providing additional benefits. Read more →

A Tax on a Tax? The Latest in Toronto Real Estate!

If you thought Toronto real estate taxes were too low, then you can file the following under ‘good news’. In February, the City of Toronto approved a Municipal Land Transfer Tax (“MLTT”) Administration Fee, for transfers registered on title on or after April 1, 2016. The fee will be $75.00 plus HST, which of course is an additional tax, at a total of $84.75.

Read more →