The law treats common law spouses and married spouses the same, doesn’t it?

November 9th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s Story Philip Seymour Hoffman was a widely admired actor, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote in a 2005 biopic. Sadly, his career was cut short when he died in 2014 at age 46 following an overdose. He left behind his common law partner Mimi […]

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If I die without a Will, can my common law partner claim my estate?

November 2nd, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Stieg Larsson’s Story Stieg Larsson was the author of the Millennium trilogy, a series of bestselling crime novels that began with “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” His novels have sold about 55 million copies worldwide and were made into a hit movie. From the age of 18, Stieg lived with Eva Gabrielsson, but they never […]

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Can I leave money to a pet?

October 26th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Oprah Winfrey’s Story Media mogul Oprah is well known as a dog lover. She calls her dogs her “fur children,” and they often appear with her in photoshoots. One of the wealthiest women in the world, Oprah reportedly has set aside $30 million in a trust to look after her pooches after she dies. Lawyer’s comment:  Many […]

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Dealing with Personal Property: I don’t care who gets the family teacups!

October 19th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Robin Williams’s Story Actor and comedian Robin Williams was caught up in several lawsuits during his life, so he wanted to make sure his estate plan was secure. This was tricky, because he was married to Susan, his third wife, and also had adult children from his first and second marriages. He tried to come up with a plan […]

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Should I specify my wishes for a Memorial Service or Celebration of Life?

October 12th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Janis Joplin’s Story Beloved rock and blues singer Janis Joplin of a drug overdose at the age of 27 in 1970. In her will, which she had revised just two days before her death, she left $2,500 to pay for an all-night celebration of her life at her favourite pub in San Anselmo, California, “so my friends can get blasted after I’m gone.” Lawyer’s Comment: Including in your will […]

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I’ve changed my mind about cremation, but it’s okay because I told my kids

October 5th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Ted Williams’s Story Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams left instructions in his will that he wished to be cremated. However, when he died in 2002, his two children from a second marriage produced a note saying he wished to have his body cryogenically frozen, in the hope of being revived at a later date. This […]

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Should I say what is to be done with my body?

September 21st, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Fred Baur’s Story Some people get quite inventive about what is to be done with their bodies. Fred Baur, the founder of Pringles potato chips, wanted his body cremated and the ashes buried in a Pringles can. His family complied with the request, deciding on a red regular-flavour can. The ashes didn’t quite fit, so the […]

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I don’t need a will because I really care don’t what happens to my property when I die

September 14th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Bob Marley’s Story People have many reasons for not leaving a will. Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae star, was a very spiritual man. His Rastafarian faith taught that writing a will would show inappropriate concern with earthly matters. When he died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 31, he left an estate worth about […]

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I don’t need a will because I don’t have enough to worry about

September 10th, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Mickey Rooney’s Story Actor Mickey Rooney had a long career, starting as a toddler in vaudeville, becoming a star in the silent movie era and continuing to appear in films right up to his death in 2014 at the age of 93. Sadly, he was almost penniless when he died. Although his estate only amounted to $18,000, Mickey was determined that nothing go to […]

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Can I just make a video of my wishes?

August 31st, 2020  |  Estate Planning

Bryer Schmegelsky’s Story In the summer of 2019, people across Canada were following the story of two young fugitives from British Columbia who were on the run in the wake of three apparently random murders. Ultimately, the two young suspects were found dead by suicide. One of them, Bryer Schmegelsky, had made a video recording shortly before […]

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