Year 2003

ANNUAL NEWSLETTER: HOLIDAY 2003

As we approach another New Year, I am renewing my lease at 390 Bay for another 10-year term. It has been a pleasure to serve you, my clients and I look forward to our next decade of working together.

Many changes have taken place this past year in the areas of law with which I have helped many of you. If you have perused my Web Site or even just my home page you will find that I am posting changes in the law as soon as they happen and following up with detailed articles concerning those changes thereafter.

In family law, Walsh, has been decided defining the property rights of common law spouses. Miglin, holds that a separation or marriage contract is the last word and will be honoured by the courts. Same sex marriages are recognized in Ontario, but still problematic should the relationship end. Finally, spousal support can be brought to an end with a special form of Annuity Contract. Interesting developments and I welcome your calls to discuss them with you.

Should you wish to step back from your business due to illness, separation or retirement, I can help ease you out of your business and yet let you retain as much or as little income and control of your business as you desire through the use of a business specialist.

Another new service I provide through a Videographer is the video taping of household assets. This is excellent for insurance purposes (video it or forget it, if claiming these days), for property separation or just preservation of those photographs, old movie films and VHS tapes which fade after 10 years. I recommend converting them to DVD which has a shelf life of almost 100 years.

Real Estate prices in Toronto have continued to skyrocket while property prices in the suburbs have remained relatively stagnant. The old adage continues to hold true; Location, Location, Location. Interest rates remain historically low. You may want to consider a variable rate mortgage with the flexibility to allow you to lock into a five-year term at the current rate when rates begin to rise. Title Insurance is now chosen by 50% of residential purchasers and 80% of all refinance transactions. The number of Real Estate Solicitors is not increasing due to the fact that Electronic Registration is now mandatory in Toronto and surrounding jurisdictions and requires a high level of computer sophistication. I have offered this service right from its very beginning and I am proud to be able to continue to provide this service for my clients.

Estate Planning remains a priority for me when reviewing your Wills and Powers of Attorney. I continue to offer absolutely no cost Will reviews and rewrites if you have a Will which I have drawn regardless of how many years ago I drew it for you. I now provide both executor and administrator services.

Please remember that life insurance can be used for purposes such as paying off that huge capital gain on the cottage and thereby leaving the cottage for your children to enjoy and your estate intact.

I wish you a healthy and peaceful holiday season.

Yours truly,

Howard S. Dyment, LL.B.