Family Law Firm in Vaughan Announces Wills and Estates Services
Mazzeo Law, a family law firm in Vaughan has announced that it is accepting cases requiring will and estates services.
The Ontario-based firm specialises in family, real estate and will or estate laws. According to an estate planning lawyer for the firm, will and estate planning is not just for wealthy people. “If you have worked hard to accumulate what you have right now or establish that business, you deserve the right to protect it,” he said. “It’s not easy to think about these things but it’s a fact of life. People pass away. Relationships end. In all these situations, it is always best to be prepared, especially for the sake of our loved ones.”
The same estate planning lawyer in Vaughan noted that an experienced family lawyer can ensure that a will adequately protects a person’s assets and that it is properly documented, which is crucial for the will to have legal grounding.
He added, “Estate planning should be part of long-term financial planning. Many people do not realise that transferring assets, even to your own family, will incur costs. As veteran lawyers, part of what we do is offer tax and cost mitigation strategies to ensure that our clients’ loved ones are not burdened by these issues when the time comes that they have to deal with it.”
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website defines a will as a written document that specifies a person’s wishes regarding the care and distribution of his or her estate after death, which is when it will take effect. Estate refers to the property that a person owns or has a legal interest in. This includes both assets and liabilities.
When it comes to distribution of estate, the process depends on whether the recently deceased left a valid will. If there is a will, the estate is distributed as instructed, after the funeral and burial expenses are paid, as well as any debts. However, a will can be challenged and in certain situations, the law takes precedence over the wishes of the person who died.
For instance, if the person who died has a surviving spouse or dependent, they will be prioritised over anyone else named in the will. A will may also become invalid if the person who created it got married or divorced after they wrote the will. Joint properties and bank accounts, as well as insurance policies, can also complicate the execution of a will.
In the event that there is no valid will, the distribution of the deceased person’s estate is dictated by Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act. As an overview, according to the Act, the first $200,000 is given to the deceased person’s spouse, unless a financial dependent makes a claim. The surviving spouse can also opt to claim half of the net family property. Anything over $200,000 is divided among the spouse and descendants which includes children and grandchildren.
If there is no spouse, the children and grandchildren are next in the line of succession. If there are no children or grandchildren, surviving parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews follow in that order. The rules become more complex when a deceased person is survived only by what the law considers as distant relatives.
The attorney from the firm furthered, “Creating a will is a crucial process that can affect the future of a family, a business or a legacy. We encourage people to take the first step. Talk to an estate planning lawyer so we can help secure that future for your loved ones.”
To find out more about wills and estate planning specifically in Ontario, or to book a consultation, visit the firm’s website.
Contact us at any time:
3300 Hwy 7 Suite 904
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 4M3
BRUSSELS — The European Union’s Brexit negotiator says the EU stands united in defence of its divorce deal with Britain, after Prime Minister Theresa won a parliamentary mandate to reopen the agreement.
Michel Barnier said Wednesday that “the EU institutions remain united, and we stand by the agreement that we have negotiated with the U.K., never against the U.K.”
Barnier made his brief remarks after he met top European Parliament officials to discuss the Brexit votes in the British Parliament late Tuesday.
Britain is set to leave the EU in less than two months, but the main sticking point in London to sealing a Brexit agreement is the so-called “backstop.”
It’s aimed at ensuring that no time-consuming customs checks happen on the Irish border after Britain leaves, until a better arrangement is found.
The Associated Press
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LAVAL, Que. — A Quebec woman on trial for murder in the deaths of her two young daughters testified Tuesday that her children were the sole source of joy in her life.
Adele Sorella took the stand in her defence, recounting to the jury how her life took a turn following surgery to remove a brain tumour, which left her with physical disabilities and began her on a path to mental illness.
Her testimony was difficult as she is deaf in one ear and was left with partial facial paralysis after the brain surgery. Her statements were interspersed with tears.
She said she was pregnant with her second daughter, Sabrina, when vomiting landed her in a hospital emergency room. The doctors detected a loss of hearing, she said, but fearful for the health of her unborn child, she refused the cortisone prescribed.
Doctors recommended brain surgery, but she said she preferred to wait until her child was born. After the operation, one eye would not close completely, her mouth was paralyzed and she would constantly lose her balance. She could not smile, and she could not take her daughters in her arms, she said.
“I had become a burden,” she told the jury, adding that it was the beginning of her mental illness.
In 2006, police arrived at her home to arrest her husband, Giuseppe De Vito as part of a major anti-Mafia operation dubbed Project Colisee. Sorella told the court this was the first inkling she had that her husband was involved with organized crime.
“I told them, ‘You’ve got the wrong person,’ ” she said. But it turned out her husband was not just out of town for a few days; he was a fugitive on the run.
It was the last straw, and her mental state deteriorated, she said. Between 2006 and 2008, she said she tried to take her own life three times. She said she felt guilty that she was unable to give her daughters a happy life, but she never tried to harm them.
Sorella, 52, has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of Amanda De Vito, 9, and Sabrina De Vito, 8. The girls were found dead in the family playroom on March 31, 2009, dressed in their school uniforms.
The cause of death was never established, but the girls were in good health, and Crown prosecutor Nektarios Tzortzinas has told the court the sisters could not have died from natural causes. He stated at the beginning of the trial that only Sorella had the opportunity to kill the girls.
Sorella’s testimony is scheduled to resume Wednesday.
Stephanie Marin, The Canadian Press
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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing actress Gwyneth Paltrow of seriously injuring him during ski crash at a Park City resort in 2016.
Retired doctor Terry Sanderson said in the lawsuit that Paltrow was skiing out of control and smashed into him from behind, leaving him with a concussion and four broken ribs. The alleged incident occurred Feb. 26, 2016, on a beginner run at Deer Valley Resort.
Paltrow denied the claims through spokeswoman Heather Wilson, who said in an emailed statement: “This lawsuit is without merit and we expect to be vindicated.”
Sanderson’s lawsuit claims Paltrow left him injured on the mountain and didn’t send for help. A Deer Valley ski instructor skiing with Paltrow and her family and friends filed a false incident report saying Paltrow didn’t cause the crash, the lawsuit alleges.
Deer Valley Resort spokeswoman Emily Summers said the resort can’t comment on pending legal matters. The resort is also being sued.
Sanderson said at a news conference in Salt Lake City at his attorney’s office that it took him nearly three years to file a lawsuit because he dragged his feet, ran into problems with previous attorneys and was dealing with inability to function properly because of the concussion.
He said he has been in contact with an attorney representing Paltrow, but he has never been offered any compensation or an apology. They have even suggested he could be sued, Sanderson said.
Sanderson’s lawsuit seeks $3.1 million in damages, but he denies he’s suing because Paltrow is a famous and rich celebrity. He called it an unkind gesture not to stick around or ever apologize for what happened.
“I would like to be vindicated,” said Sanderson, now 72. “I would like my truth to be told.”
Attorneys for Sanderson said Paltrow’s attorneys don’t deny she was involved in a crash, but dispute her culpability, said lawyer Robert Sykes, who represents Sanderson.
The events are based on the memory of an acquaintance who was skiing with Sanderson that day of the crash, Sykes said. Sanderson said he doesn’t remember anything beyond being struck in the back and losing control of his body as he was thrust forward with somebody on his back.
The witness, Craig Ramon, said a Deer Valley ski instructor berated Sanderson as he laid knocked out on the snow, face down. He told Ramon that Sanderson had taken out Gwyneth Paltrow.
Sykes said Paltrow violated the reckless skiing provision of the Summit County code, which requires a skier to stay at the scene of a crash to make sure the other skier is taken care of.