Kathryn's practice is focused on helping clients achieve their estate-planning goals by providing advice on wills, trusts, the transfer of assets, powers of attorney, and estate administration. She works in partnership with her clients to help them navigate complex matters and to protect and plan for the transfer of their personal assets.
Kathryn is active in the estates and trusts bar and is a former member of the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) Executive for Trusts and Estates law. While on the Executive Committee for the OBA Trusts and Estates Law section, Kathryn spearheaded the Make a Will Month initiative that has provided hundreds of public information sessions across Ontario, partnering with the Toronto Public Library, and actively participated in the development of emergency legislation to address the Covid-19 pandemic in Ontario relating to the execution of Wills and Powers of Attorney.
Kathryn is also a member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP). Kathryn has contributed to the OBA Trusts and Estates Law newsletter and to the firm’s publications. She speaks at various professional and public programs on the topic of wills, estates and substitute decision making.
APRIL 24 2020
Update on Virtual Witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney: Signing in Counterparts Now Temporarily Permitted in Ontario
APRIL 13 2020
Virtual Witnessing of Wills and Powers of Attorney Now Temporarily Permitted in Ontario
On April 7, 2020 The Lieutenant Governor in Council made an order under s. 7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, to temporarily permit virtual execution of Wills and Powers of Attorney through audio-visual communication technology during the COVID-19 emergency.
MARCH 26 2020
E-Wills - Legislative Change a Necessity in the COVID-19 Crisis
The Ontario Government has ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday March 24th at 11:59 pm. for a 14 day period, with the potential of lengthening that period as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds. While the professional services of lawyers have been listed as one of the essential workplaces excluded from the mandatory closure, the delivery of estate planning legal services is particularly challenging in these trying times.
FEBRUARY 04 2019
Multiple Wills Resurrected
The recent woes of the estates bar in connection with multiple Wills has been resolved positively by the Divisional Court's decision in the Re Milne appeal decision issued on January 24, 2019.
DECEMBER 21 2018
An Update on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Reform
On November 22, 2018, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announced some very vague plans for reform. With respect to ODSP, the announcement stated that the intention was to "[r]edesign [ODSP] to provide annualized income support with far fewer reporting requirements for Ontarians with severe disabilities."
DECEMBER 10 2018
Multiple Wills Make a Comeback
The technique of using multiple wills, which became the standard among estate planning solicitors as a method of limiting the amount of probate fees (now called Estate Administration Tax), took a beating in the Re Milne decision of September 11, 2018.
OCTOBER 12 2018
Multiple Wills: A Little Worse for Wear but Still Worthwhile
Following a handful of disconcerting endorsements in a number of probate applications culminating in the recent decision in the Milne Estates, an issue has been raised respecting the validity of the use of multiple wills in Ontario.
AUGUST 10 2018
UPDATE: BIG CHANGES TO GIFTS, TRUSTS, AND SAVINGS FOR ODSP RECIPIENTS
Subsequent to the writing of this article, the Ford Government announced that the initiatives announced in Chapter 1, Section 7 of the previous government’s 2018 Budget (which includes the New Regulation discussed in the article) will not proceed at this time.
JUNE 13 2018
Congratulations to Kathryn Balter on her OBA Trusts & Estates Law Section Executive Appointment.
Congratulations to Kathryn Balter on her recent appointment to the 2018-2019 OBA Trusts & Estates Law Section Executive.
MARCH 26 2018
Capping Political Contributions From Beyond The Grave
Although not a bequest that I often see in my estate planning practice, some people with distinct political leanings have historically taken advantage of an exemption from limits to political contributions in each calendar year by making such contribution in their Wills. Prior to the introduction of Bill C-23, dubbed the Fair Elections Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2014, politically-inclined individuals could take advantage of former subsection 405(2) of the Canada Elections Act, S.C. 2000, c.9 (the "Act"), which permitted unlimited political contributions by way of testamentary disposition...
FEBRUARY 08 2018
Emerging Issues in Estates, Trusts and Incapacity Law
Kathryn is Chair's this OBA Institute trusts & estates law program that will explore recent case law and statutory amendments, as well as essential practice management advice. Click here for more information and to register.
NOVEMBER 07 2017
Wills, Powers of Attorney for Property and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care
Most people are hesitant when it comes to dealing with their Wills and Powers of Attorney. Death and Disability are not easy subjects to deal with. Unfortunately, these are realities that are better dealt with than not...
NOVEMBER 01 2017
November is Make a Will Month
Throughout November, Make a Will Month will see more than 40 legal information sessions presented by OBA members, including Mary Wahbi and Kathryn Balter of our Wills & Estates group, at libraries and community hubs in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Cambridge.
University of British Columbia, J.D., 2011
University of Western Ontario, B.A., 2008
- STEP Canada
- OBA, Trusts & Estates Law Section, former Executive Committee Member