Mary’s estates and trusts practice focuses on estate planning (including business succession, estate freezes, creation of trusts), and the preparation of wills, insurance directions and trusts, powers of attorney for property and powers of attorney for personal care, medical directives, and the administration of the estate of deceased persons.
Mary’s corporate/commercial practice is focused on business acquisitions and dispositions, business relationships (including executive employment agreements, partnership agreements, and shareholders’ agreements), business financing (secured transactions), corporate re-organizations (including tax related transactions) and general business and commercial agreements.
Her two areas of expertise allow her to provide her high net worth entrepreneurial client base with an integrated solution to their business and personal planning issues.
Mary is also active in the legal community. She is a past instructor in Estate Planning at the Bar Admission Course, Law Society of Upper Canada, and is former Chair of the Statutory Review Committee, Executive of the Ontario Bar Association. In her latter role, Mary was instrumental in achieving an amendment to the Family Law Act by the Ontario legislature which eliminated the windfall on death associated with jointly held property in favour of a surviving spouse seeking equalization of Net Family Property. Mary also acts as a Mentor in the Ontario Bar Association’s Mentorship Program, providing guidance and mentoring new lawyers.
Mary volunteers as a supervising lawyer at Pro Bono Student Canada’s Wills Clinic, which provides estate planning legal services to low income clients. The Clinic delivers such services through the efforts of law students from Osgoode Hall Law School and from the University of Toronto Law School, under the supervision of volunteer lawyers. Mary is instrumental in both the training of law students and in supervising students. Mary is also a volunteer lawyer at the Wellspring Pro Bono Wills/Powers of Attorney Clinic which provides estate planning legal services to cancer patients who have little income and assets. Mary is a frequent speaker with the Ontario Bar Association, speaks regularly to community groups, is former Treasurer of the 344th Brownie Pack, and is co-founder of Smart Choices, a women’s information exchange and networking group.
Born in Israel in 1960, Mary relocated to Canada in 1967 with her family.
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.
OCTOBER 28 2019
Debunking a will myth: ‘I can do it myself’
OCTOBER 01 2019
Dispelling the myth that creating a will is unnecessary
People give up control of their estate administration when they fail to make a will, says Foglers wills & estates lawyer Mary Wahbi. Read her perspective in the Advocate Daily article: Dispelling the myth that creating a will is unnecessary
AUGUST 29 2019
Residence exception rule changes impact capital gains taxes
Changes in the last few years concerning trusts and the principal residence exemption have fundamentally altered the estate planning process, says wills & estates lawyer Mary Wahbi. Read her perspective in the article Residence Exception Rule Changes Impact Capital Gains Taxes.
AUGUST 21 2019
19 Fogler Rubinoff Partners Ranked in The Best Lawyers™ in Canada
Fogler Rubinoff is pleased to announce that the following 19 lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada.
- Don Bourgeois – Gaming Law
- Steven Cygelfarb - Real Estate Law, Commercial Leasing Law
- Milton A. Davis - Legal Malpractice Law
- Albert Engel - Environmental Law
- Michael B. Fraleigh - Health Care Law, Medical Negligence
- Jeffrey B. Goldenberg - Real Estate Law
- Bill Hearn - Advertising and Marketing Law
- Eric N. Hoffstein – Trust and Estates
- Ian N. Kady - Real Estate Law
- Gary Kissack - Aboriginal Law
- Ross MacDougall – Construction Law
- Martin L. Middlestadt - Real Estate Law
- Kenneth W. Movat - Construction Law
- Young Park – Corporate and Commercial Litigation
- Karen Rosen - Energy Law
- John Rowinski – Aboriginal Law
- Howard Rubinoff – Banking and Finance Law
- Colleen Spring Zimmerman - Intellectual Property Law
- Mary Wahbi – Trusts and Estates
Best Lawyers compiles its lists of outstanding lawyers by conducting peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.
AUGUST 02 2019
Discussing future of cottage can alleviate family disputes
While summer is the perfect time to relax at the cottage, it may also be the ideal opportunity for families to start considering what will happen with that property once the parents who own it pass away, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi.
In the article, "Discussing future of cottage can alleviate family disputes" Mary shares her perspective on how to plan for the family cottage succession.
MAY 01 2019
Insurance trusts effective way to avoid beneficiary disputes
Mary Wahbi tells Advocate Daily that family law counsel should consider a transfer of insurance ownership or an insurance trust when securing future support payments after a series of controversial decisions involving the proceeds from life insurance policies.
MARCH 22 2019
E-wills are coming, till then paper documents crucial
FEBRUARY 08 2019
Mary Wahbi discuss mortgage debt with Advocate Daily
According to Wills & Estates Lawyer Mary Wahbi, the bottom line is that when a borrower dies, the mortgage on their property still binds their estate, and must be dealt with. The lender will, one way or the other, get repaid. Read her perspective in Advocate Daily.
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 27 2018
Mary Wahbi, discusses opposing rulings regarding the use of multiple wills
In the final instalment of a two-part series, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi discusses opposing rulings regarding the use of multiple wills. A recent Superior Court justice's ruling asserting the validity of multiple wills provides “a solid basis” to expect a contradictory decision will be overturned, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi tells AdvocateDaily.com. Read the full article here.
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.
NOVEMBER 13 2018
Mary Wahbi speaks with STEP Canada about the recent decision involving multiple wills in Milne Estate (Re)
Mary Wahbi speaks with STEP Canada about the recent decision involving multiple wills and called into question the judge’s decision to treat the will as a trust: “A will is a testamentary document, and it can create a trust, but it is not one itself…Between them, the wills cover all the assets, so even if you have to treat them as a single document, they shouldn’t be ruled invalid.” Read the article: Superior Court Decision on Multiple Wills Raises Questions for Canadian Practitioners.
NOVEMBER 12 2018
Wills & Estates lawyer Mary Wahbi discusses the fallout from a controversial decision concerning multiple wills.
In part one of a two-part series, wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi discusses the fallout from a controversial decision concerning multiple wills in the article "Multiple Wills Decision Fallout: Why the Judge Got it Wrong"
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 17 2018
Mary Wahbi discusses with Advocate Daily the perils of bequeathing the family cottage
Leaving the family cottage for the next generation to enjoy often sounds like a wonderful idea to parents who want their children and grandchildren to continue making memories, but that’s not an approach wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi recommends lightly. Read her perspective here: The Perils of Bequeathing the Family Cottage.
MAY 17 2018
Rejection of probate applications confounds lawyers
FEBRUARY 08 2018
Triggers to update your will: family changes
Mary Wahbi talks about the life events that should trigger a review of your will. In this instalment, she explores changes in family life situations that should spur you to update your will. Read Part 2 "Triggers to Update your Will: Family Changes" of a three-part series featured in Advocate Daily.
NOVEMBER 17 2017
Mary Wahbi discusses the nightmare of retaining estate planning documents with the Lawyers Daily
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.
OCTOBER 30 2017
Estate Planning – Regular Check-Ups Required! Part IV– Changes In Tax Laws
In the first three editions of Estate Planning – Regular Check-Ups Required!, we discussed how changes in your assets, changes in your family life and relationships, and changes in estate laws may require that you review and revise your estate planning documents...
OCTOBER 25 2017
Beware of Traps with Multiple Wills
Many high-net-worth Ontarians have two wills to avoid paying high probate fees, but there are pitfalls to the practice, Foglers wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi tells AdvocateDaily.com in the article Beware of Traps with Multiple Wills
OCTOBER 16 2017
Estate Planning – Regular Check-Ups Required! Part III – Changes In Estate Laws
In previous editions of Estate Planning – Regular Check-Ups Required!, we discussed how changes in your assets and changes in your family life and relationships may require that you review and revise your estate planning documents...
OCTOBER 03 2017
Estate Planning – Regular Check-ups Required! PART II– Changes in Family Life and Relationships
As a general rule of thumb, we suggested that if your estate planning documents are more than three to five years old, it's time to review and up-date them. This is the second article in a four-part series on wills and estate planning.
SEPTEMBER 20 2017
Estate Planning – Regular Check-Ups Required!
Part 1 of a four-part series.
AUGUST 02 2017
Wills & Estates Partner Mary Wahbi tells AdvocateDaily.com information is key to sensible and tax-efficient estate planning.
In the article, Mary discusses how the fill-in-the-blanks approach is not suited to estate planning. Read her perspective on AdvocateDaily.com
MARCH 24 2017
Mary Wahbi shares her perspective on how joint ownership to reduce probate with Advocate Daily
Although the estate administration tax has some lawyers and their clients focusing on probate fee reduction strategies including the transfer of assets to a joint owner, this can have negative results, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi discusses with The Advocate Daily. Read her perspective on how joint ownership to reduce probate fee can prove problematic.
MARCH 17 2017
Pitfalls of reducing probate fees with joint ownership
Although probate of a deceased's will isn't mandatory, it is often required by financial institutions and government agencies as judicial confirmation that the will is valid and that the executor is authorized to act in the estate. Read more of Mary Wahbi's perspective in the Lawyers Weekly article: Pitfalls of Reducing Probate Fees with Joint Ownership.
FEBRUARY 06 2017
Wills and estates lawyer Mary Wahbi lands at Fogler, Rubinoff
AdvocateDaily.com profiled Mary Whabi and her move to Fogler, Rubinoff. Click here to read the profile piece.
- Osgoode Hall Law School, J.D., 1984
- Called to the Ontario Bar, 1986
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Certificate from the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, 2000
Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP)
- Canadian Bar Association
- Ontario Bar Association
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- Law Society of Upper Canada
- Estate Planning Council of Toronto
- Volunteer, Pro Bono Canada’s Wills Clinic
- Ontario Bar Association Mentorship Program
- Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation, Member of the Planned Giving Advisory Committee
- Volunteer, Wellspring Pro Bono Wills/Powers of Attorney Clinic
Awards and Distinctions
Recognized as a leading lawyer in The Best Lawyers™ in Canada: Trusts and Estates