Joint Asset Planning Kit

The Joint Asset Planning Kit

Joint Asset Planning Kit

The Joint Asset Planning Kit™ in the Media

The Windsor Star

Joint Accounts In Peril

Dave Hall
The Windsor Star

For most of the past few years, John has helped manage his father's affairs through the creation of a joint bank account with rights of survivorship which generally meant that when the father passed away, the funds in the account would become John's.

In both banking and personal terms, John would assume whatever remained in the joint account and would not need to split those funds with his siblings.

But according to Toronto lawyer Barry Fish who, with colleague Les Kotzer, has written two books on the subject of family financial disputes, that presumption has been turned on its head by a pair of recent Supreme Court decisions which ruled that joint account funds, in such circumstances, instead of automatically becoming John's would be divested based on the parent's intentions.

"In the past, the presumption was always that the joint account was a gift and therefore John did not have to share but the court has now said the law will not presume a gift and in fact will presume the opposite -- that the monies are actually a trust," Fish said.

In legal terms, he said, what results from the decision is the presumption of resulting trust.

Fish said, in the past, a series of lower court decisions resulted in John winning, John losing, John winning again but the Supreme Court has put an end to that uncertainty.

"Today we know what the law says, so what do we do about it?" he said.

Fish and Kotzer, a graduate of the University of Windsor law school, have developed a joint asset protection kit which, for a fee of $45, sets out what the parties want to see happen in such circumstances.

Anyone who has joint assets, including bank accounts, investment accounts and real estate, can use a declaration of intention statement.

Fish and Kotzer, co-authors of The Family Fight, Planning to Avoid It and The Family War, Winning the Inheritance Battle, said "we've created identical provisions in this kit that mirrors the Supreme Court decision.

"We also provide instructions to follow so that no matter what you do, your will will never be revoked," Fish said.

The kit also has a clause which protects the joint asset from sons and daughters-in-law in the event of divorce.

It can be downloaded from or by calling 1-877-439-3999.







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