Articles, News, and Events

Joint Tenancy v Tenancy in Common

We are buying our first home. The bank insists that we add my father as a co-owner of the home in order to qualify for the mortgage amount we need. The entire down payment is coming from our savings and we will be making all the mortgage payments. I would rather not include my father…

Capacity: How is it determined, and who can represent someone who lacks capacity?

“I recently learned that my elderly Aunt is a victim of Fraud. The police have advised me that some victims of the fraud are considering a lawsuit and that someone may wish to speak to a Lawyer on my Aunt’s behalf. My Aunt suffers from dementia and I hold power of attorney. Can my Aunt…

Dividend Sprinkling Shares

My neighbor tells me that he pays his adult children out of his business corporation to fund their costs and expenses while they attend university, and saves a lot on tax compared to what he would pay if he personally funded their expenses. How do I set up my business corporation to do this? The…

Custody and Access

Q: My wife and I are separating. We have two sons, 11 and 8 years old. Things are reasonably amicable between us, especially regarding the children, and we are trying to figure out custody and access. We both work full time and will be living near each other. What does custody mean, and what sort…

Separation and its Impact on the Matrimonial Home

My husband and I are separating after three years of marriage. The home we have lived in was mine prior to our marriage and it remains in my name alone. There is significant equity in the home. I understand that our assets will generally be divided equally, but does he have any claim on the…

Are Family Trusts Useful for Businesses?

A friend tells me that he used a family trust to multiply the use of the lifetime capital gains exemption and saved a lot of tax on the sale of his business. Is a family trust useful for my business? There are many types and uses of trusts. In essence, a trust is a contractual…

Asset Purchase v Share Purchase

I am negotiating to purchase a business and my business advisor has strongly suggested I structure the deal as an “asset purchase”. Why is this preferable? There are two principal ways to structure the agreement of purchase and sale of a business: as an asset purchase or as a share purchase. An asset purchase is…

Common-Law Relationships: Co-Signed Loans and Lines of Credit

My common-law husband of five years and I recently separated. We have no children, and divided our assets equally. He owns a small business and I have previously co-signed for a vehicle loan and line of credit for his business. Now that we are separated, am I automatically released from these loans? Separating couples often…

Medicine and the Professional Corporation

I am a practicing family physician with two young children. My accountant mentioned the idea of incorporating my practice into a professional corporation. How does this work? As a physician, you are generally permitted to create a physician corporation. The Ontario Business Corporations Act (OBCA) and the Regulated Health Professions Act govern physician corporations. Once incorporated, a Certificate of Authorization…

Termination of Employment and Reasonable Notice

Question: I’ve worked as a bookkeeper for 9 years. I started as a part-time employee but for the last couple of years I’ve worked almost 40 hours a week. My employer is retiring and selling the business. I’ve heard through the grapevine that the buyer is a competing business and likely won’t require my services so I probably…