Joint Ownership of Assets

The concept of one or more children holding real property as joint tenants with aging parents to avoid probate fees is well known. This type of ownership can also be extended to joint bank accounts and investments such as your stocks.

When property is owned jointly by spouses, it can make for good planning provided the union does not fracture and the intention is to leave everything to the survivor on death.

However, there can be disadvantages or conflicts where a parent holds assets jointly with his or her children for convenience or to reduce probate costs.

While joint ownership is often a wise course of action, there possibly can be a loss of control or authority over jointly registered assets that could lead to family conflicts.

An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. When real properties are put in joint names or assets put in joint accounts, the transferor should be urged to prepare a simple written statement of his or her intention in making the transfer. Be sure to make it clear whether it is merely a matter of convenience or whether a gift is intended. Evidence of intention can also be revealed by a statement in one’s Will.

Your Will can state that the estate trustees need not investigate the nature of any jointly held assets and declare that it is the intention of the testator to have made a gift of his or her interest in any joint property to the surviving joint owner.

At a time when many structure their affairs to reduce probate fees by registering assets jointly with their children or others, many plans may be frustrated if jointly held assets are subject to a resulting trust in favour of the deceased estate. This could result in probate fees being levied on the assets. Since this is often the result of a disgruntled beneficiary under the deceased’s Will (such as another child who was not a joint owner) challenging the transaction, evidence of intention, such as a statement in one’s Will, allow such simple estate planning to be more effective.

Brigitte DioGuardi, B.A., LL.B.

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Tax Law

​If you are one of thousands of Canadians who have failed to file taxes for several years the answer maybe to seek amnesty. Be aware that failure to file for more than one year if you owe taxes is a criminal offence and you may be criminally prosecuted.

The CRA Voluntary Disclosure Program allows taxpayers to come forward and obtain immunity from prosecution and most civil penalties, provided certain conditions are met.

We specialize in lawyer-negotiated tax debt settlements and tax amnesties with federal and provincial tax authorities, offering taxpayers a much-needed resource for the resolution of situations that all too often put personal and financial lives at risk. We stand as your protector, defender, and advocate to ensure that you the taxpayer, receive the best treatment possible. 

We offer solutions for tax problems such as:

  • Unreported income
  • Unfiled tax returns
  • Payment arrangements
  • Unpayable tax debt
  • Tax dispute litigation
  • Criminal tax defense

Wills, Estates & Trusts

​We offer the following will, estate and trust services for individuals and business-owners:

  • Wills
  • Preparation of trust agreements
  • Powers of attorney
  • Estate administration
  • Probate
  • Representation in estate driven litigation
  • We currently offer a special time limited package for one will and two powers of attorney (property and personal care) for $295 plus HST

Real Estate

We can assist you with all your real estate needs including:

  • Drafting agreements
  • Purchases and Sales
  • Title transfers
  • Leases

Tax Debt Solutions

Tax collectors are getting more aggressive and often can threaten seizure of your bank accounts or your home. It is essential to take the offensive to protect yourself. Each of our tax debt solutions is custom made to solve your problem.

Business & Tax Planning

If you do not already have a certified financial planner, we can provide one or more highly qualified people who can work closely with us to assist you with such matters as:

  • Resident and non-resident corporate restructuring
  • Optimum use of holding corporations
  • Continuity and succession planning
  • Tax-free transfers
  • Losses and ABIL planning
  • Making interest tax deductible
  • Small business planning

Corporate & Commercial Law

We have represented business clients for the last 50 plus years and have supported their legal requirements on an on-going basis by offering the following services:

  • Incorporations and corporate governance
  • Corporate reorganizations and transactions for the directors and shareholders
  • Negotiation and drafting of agreements, professional corporations, minute book maintenance

Brigitte DioGuardi

B.A., LL.B

Brigitte obtained her Law Degree from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Upon her return, she qualified for the Bar and was called to the Law Society of Ontario (formerly the Law Society of Upper Canada) in 2002. She was also a member of the Bar of British Columbia and headed up the Vancouver office of DioGuardi Tax Law.  Fluently bilingual in English and French, Brigitte has broad experience in the areas of:

  • Tax Law, Civil Assessment Negotiation and Litigation, Criminal Prosecution Defense, Unpayable Tax Debt Solutions, Audits, Tax Amnesty.
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Real Estate
  • Wills and Estates
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy

Joyce Bruno

EXECUTIVE LEGAL ASSISTANT

Joyce Bruno has worked as executive legal assistant to Paul Dioguardi for 35 years and continues to offer her expertise and experience to the Dioguardi Law firm. Joyce’s role has evolved over the years and has acquired and developed many skills. She is an invaluable asset in case management and ensures the smooth running of our office.

Paul DioGuardi

B.A., LL.B, Queen’s Counsel

Paul obtained his Law Degree from Queen’s University in 1964.  He is a member of the Bars of Ontario, British Columbia and the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British tax free territory in the West Indies. He has over 50 years of experience and was trained at the Ottawa head offices of Revenue Canada and the Tax Litigation Section at the Department of Justice. Paul has had and continues with an extensive career in various areas of law such as:

  • Tax Law, Civil Assessment Negotiation and Litigation, Criminal Prosecution Defense, Unpayable Tax Debt Solutions, Audits, Tax Amnesty.
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Real Estate
  • Wills and Estates
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy