Frank Grise Newsletter :: Spring 2009
Frank Grise :: Happy Senior
Joint Bank Accounts ∑ News ∑ Legal Ease

Introducing our updated newsletter
This is the first issue of our Newsletter prepared by us to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments in the law of Wills, Estates, and Powers of Attorney. All issues will be posted on our website where you can go and check for up-to-date information on the law and the latest legal cases that are in the news. If you prefer to receive future newsletters by regular mail or email please let us know, and we will ensure you get on the list.

New Brand Identity
As you can see, we have updated our identity; we hope you like the new look.

New website
Please visit us online at to see our new website and read our tips and information.

We have opened an office in Barrie to serve all our clients in that area. If you find it more convenient, contact us for your appointments there. The new branch office is in the south end very convenient to highway 400, at the  SuiteWorks building, 92 Caplan Ave., Ste 605.

Frank Grisť Q&A Quote Question: I put money into a joint bank account with my daughter several years ago. I was told that if something happens to me, the money in the joint account will go to my daughter automatically, outside of my Will, and would not be included in probate, so saving probate fees and tax. Now, somebody recently told me that this is not correct ≠- who is right?

Answer: The advice you got may have been basically correct at the time - but the law on joint bank accounts has changed recently. One reason people make a joint account with one of their children, is for convenience, so that if anything happens to them, their child will have quick access to money for final expenses, etc. Another reason is, as a way of giving that child an extra gift above and beyond the Will. In both cases the joint bank account was usually treated as separate and outside of the Will, and not normally subject to probate fees.

But in two recent cases, the Supreme Court of Canada has basically said that from now on, a joint account will not automatically go to the child. This basically puts the onus on the child to show why the money was meant to be his and should not go back to the parent's estate. There will no longer be a presumption that the money in the bank account will go to the child as a gift.

Question: Is there anything I can do?

Answer: Yes. If you do want the joint account to go to your son or daughter, make it clear, in writing that this is your intention. This could take many forms including a mention in your Last Will and Testament. The safest thing of course is to call your lawyer and ask him for suggestions about your specific situation.

This recent change in the law is a good example of why you should review your Will and estate plan from time to time to ensure it still meets your needs and complies with the current law.

The contents of this newsletter are for general information only. Specific legal advice should always be obtained from a lawyer.
A butcher went to his lawyer and asked if he could make a dogowner pay for meat a dog stole from the shop. The lawyer consulted his books and pronounced that yes, indeed he could charge the owner for the meat - whereupon the butcher presented the lawyer with a bill for $20 worth of meat, saying "Good, it was your dog!

Several days later the butcher was surprised to receive an envelope from the lawyer. Inside, his bill "For legal advice re dog: $30".
 Legal Ease Image