Picture
Picture
Name and Title
Matthew Urback
Partner
Associate
Year of Call

2011 (Ontario)

Memberships
  • Law Society of Ontario
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • The Advocates' Society
Publications
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotDying without a will may have unintended consequences on one’s family members, Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback tells Law Times.

Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP’s Toronto office, says that without a will, one’s estate is then divvied up by the courts based on governing legislation and the personal situation of the deceased. But that process, he says, may not be what the deceased person would have wanted.

Another problem with not having a will, says Urback, is that the person probably didn’t take advantage of any tax-saving opportunities, which will likely mean that there will be less left over for beneficiaries.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-12-06
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotAccounting for digital assets is becoming a bigger part of estate planning as people do more and more online, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells Law Times.

“I haven’t seen it addressed all that much yet and I think it’s something that’s going to become a much bigger issue than it already is in the coming years just because of the prevalence of digital assets,” says Urback, a civil and commercial litigator with Shibley Righton LLP’s Toronto office.

The assets include email and social media accounts, says the online legal publication, noting that “many people fail to identify those parts of their lives in their estate and risk the loss of control over their online identity as well as accounts that could have some significant value.”

The largely paperless, online assets could also include valuable ones like cryptocurrency, and if the owner doesn’t specify where the assets are and how to access them, it’s like they don't exist, says Urback.

“It might be worth it to appoint an executor, an estate trustee that is exclusively in charge of all your digital assets and all of your electronic holdings,” he says.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-11-14
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotFinancial institutions are right to be concerned about fraud, especially when a power of attorney is involved.

That is because a power of attorney is a tremendously powerful document that gives another person authority to act on one’s behalf. The grantee of the power of attorney gains the almost complete ability to manage the grantor’s financial affairs, and so banks need to be vigilant about ensuring that person is indeed authorized and fit to carry out such a responsibility in the interests of the individual.

Banks can refuse to accept powers of attorney for a number of reasons: the document may be too old, lack clarity, or fail to conform to a bank’s internal policies.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on financialpost.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story
.


Date_Published
2018-11-07
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotWhile legendary singers Aretha Franklin and Prince died without wills, there is a celebrity that set a good example for others to consider when it comes to estate planning, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback.

“Paul Walker is that unusual case where he spelled out his wishes clearly. It’s especially interesting because he died so young and unexpectedly,” Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Walker, best known for the Fast & Furious movies, reportedly drafted a will when his daughter was three, more than 10 years before his 2013 death in a car crash at the age of 40, says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

“He left a detailed will and instructions concerning his young daughter,” he says. “Getting a will in place early should be happening more than it actually does.”

Aside from his litigation practice, Urback also drafts estate plans and wills. He says many people who approach him for this service have recently had a child.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-10-30
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotDying without a will means an estate will be dispersed among family in an orderly way, but not necessarily the way the person would have wanted, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback.

The distribution of assets of a person who dies without a will, or intestate, is governed by a statute in Ontario called the Succession Law Reform Act, explains Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

He tells AdvocateDaily.com the first $200,000 — known as the preferential share — goes to the spouse.

According to the Act, “the first $200,000 is given to the deceased person's spouse … Anything over $200,000 is shared between the spouse and the descendants (e.g. children, grandchildren) according to specific rules.”

Intestate succession of assets was in the news after singer Aretha Franklin died Aug. 16 without a will. Michigan law suggests her four sons should receive an equal share of the $80-million US estate, reports the Globe and Mail.

The intestate process is similar in Ontario and Urback says it's important to have a will so that a person's assets are distributed as desired.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-09-18
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotShibley Righton's Matthew Urback was interviewed by CBC Radio in Windsor about securing your online presence and legacy after death.

Please click here to listen to the full interview.

Date_Published
2018-08-27
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotThe dispute over the estate of Charles Manson offers lessons for testators with less controversial backgrounds, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

According to a report by NBC News, the fate of the notorious killer’s estate remains up in the air almost a year after his death, while a number of alleged heirs fight over the right to administer it.   

While the law in California, where the Manson fight is playing out, differs from that in Ontario, it still offers guidance to future testators here, says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

“You’re always better off leaving clear and unequivocal instructions about your estate plan,” he says. “You know better than anyone what you want to happen to your assets, but if you don’t leave clear instructions, it leaves your loved ones with a bit of a guessing game to figure out what you intended, when you’re no longer around to clear up any confusion.

“The problem in this case is that nothing was clear. Manson had a will, but the circumstances around how it was made were a bit fuzzy,” Urback adds.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-07-30
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotFamily members must often make tough decisions when a loved one shows signs of incapacity, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback.

In these situations, it’s helpful to have a capacity assessor talk to them, he says.

“They are trained and have the experience to evaluate if someone is incapable of making their own decisions or looking after themselves,” Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“They are health-care professionals or social workers and they will usually conduct multiple interviews with the person.”

Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, says he hears from family members who are unsure about how fit a relative is to make daily decisions.

“The person in question may be able to complete some tasks, but not others.”

He says Ontario's Substitutes Decision Act can provide information regarding next steps.

“That legislation offers a roadmap for relatives seeking to have someone act on the individual’s behalf when it comes to property or personal care,” Urback says.

“It provides a process for the court to appoint a guardian of property, for example, when an individual is deemed incapable of managing.”

The guardian is then able to deal with banks and other financial institutions, says Urback.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-06-27
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotA claim of lack of capacity is a common reason wills are challenged and it can lead to a lengthy and costly legal process, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback.

“It can sometimes be hard to prove a lack of capacity because everyone is assumed to have it regardless of their age,” says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

 “The person making the challenge has to substantiate that allegation and it can be difficult to do,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com.

The reason it can be so tough to establish a lack of capacity is that the party making the challenge has to go back in time, Urback explains.

“The individual who made the will isn’t around anymore,” he says.

It’s challenging to prove something debatable, Urback says, and that’s when you see litigation and a drawn-out dispute.

Usually at the beginning of court proceedings, the party filing the challenge will seek an order to access mental and legal records, Urback says.

“It’s obtained early because if there is nothing in the medical records, that will quickly impact whether you have any evidence to go forward with.”

However, it isn’t always an easy or fast process, he cautions.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-05-31
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotThe often-subtle signs of elder abuse make it a tricky problem to diagnose, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, says he expects financial mistreatment of older individuals to peak in the coming years as an increasing proportion of the population falls into the over-65 category and we continue the biggest wealth transfer in history between those in the Baby Boomer generation and their beneficiaries.

“The difficulty with financial elder abuse is that the signs aren't, on their own, demonstrative. Each potential sign is really just a hint and in some of those situations, the conduct could be completely innocent,” he explains. “In other situations, there may be more going on, which makes it very challenging to spot.”   

Still, he urges family members of older individuals to keep their eyes peeled because of the potentially devastating consequences of elder abuse.

“Each case will be unique, but there could be a loss of money and other property, as well as damage to relationships,” Urback says. “It’s important to be aware of some of the red flags. Then if you do see something, it may be appropriate to look a little closer or act from there.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-04-20
Description

Lawyers should pay attention to online platforms that offer legal documents at a fraction of the price, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells The Lawyer’s Daily.  

The proliferation of sites like one launched recently in Canada, which provides an online platform for people to create their own legal documents for under $40, is a commentary on the high cost of legal fees, says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP’s Toronto office.

“It’s something that the legal community should take note of because I think a business like this could absolutely grow if lawyer’s fees continue to be at a level where it’s simply either not affordable for your everyday person or it’s too onerous to hire a lawyer,” he tells the online legal publication.  

Urback says such sites can be beneficial because they provide clients with a cost-effective version of a legal document, which is usually better than having nothing at all.

“Even if there are some drawbacks, it’s always better to have something in place rather than having absolutely nothing. If there’s an individual who just wants something extremely basic, at least for their will, I would say something like this is preferable to having nothing at all,” he tells the publication.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-03-12
Description

The automation of legal documents seems like a straightforward solution for Canadians facing access to justice issues. However, lawyers caution clients turning to tech may be leaving themselves open to litigation as documents, such as contracts and wills, could lack important details.

Canada is no stranger to artificial intelligence (AI) based legal services, with companies such as Miralaw in Ottawa creating the divorce app Thistoo, and Montreal firm EXEO Attorneys building a virtual assistant to help people with immigration questions. Now there’s a new player on the scene offering legal documents to customers for under $40 apiece.

Wonder.Legal, a website founded by Jérémie Eskenazi in Paris, launched in Canada on Jan. 10 and provides an online platform for people to create legal documents without the assistance of a lawyer.

Eskenazi, who holds a master's degree in science from MIT and attended Ecole Centrale de Lyon (a top French science school), said the site is available in 12 countries worldwide and uses locally based lawyers in each country to create the documents..

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on TheLawyerDaily.ca.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.


Date_Published
2018-02-26
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotWith the exponential rise in the value of cryptocurrency, it’s important to include this new-age asset in your estate planning, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback writes in the Financial Post.

“Since the concept of digital property is so new, it is rarely addressed in wills, often leaving ill-equipped trustees or family members to attempt to navigate a web of online accounts and assets,” says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP’s Toronto office.

And what might be a modest investment right now, could balloon into a fortune, he says.

One of the earliest transactions involving Bitcoin was the indirect exchange of 10,000 units for two pizzas in 2010, says Urback. Today, those Bitcoins are worth about $100 million US.

He tells the Post that cryptocurrencies are only part of the story.

“Social media accounts have become an integral part of our lives. Rewards programs, travel miles and even gaming profiles are also increasingly common, while email accounts routinely carry massive amounts of information, sentimental history and value,” Urback writes.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-02-14
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotWhen it comes to digital assets, having an electronic estate trustee is key

One of the earliest transactions involving Bitcoin was the indirect exchange of 10,000 units of the then-little-known cryptocurrency for two pizzas in 2010. Hopefully the pizzas were very good, because those Bitcoins are now worth about US$100 million.

While the story is now part of Bitcoin lore, it serves to illustrate just how extreme the growth in the cryptocurrency’s value has been.

That rise has added a new dimension and urgency to a question that has been complicating the estate-planning process in recent years: What happens to your digital property when you die?

Since the concept of digital property is so new, it is rarely addressed in wills, often leaving ill-equipped trustees or family members to attempt to navigate a web of online accounts and assets.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on FinancialPost.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-01-29
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotSocial media has become such a relevant presence in our lives that we must start thinking about how it's to be dealt with after we die, says Toronto litigator Matthew Urback, whose practice focuses on wills and estates law.

One of the options is to assign an electronic estate trustee, Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP’s Toronto office, tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“It’s a concept that really is quite new,” he explains. “Only a generation ago, the whole idea would have been crazy.

“An electronic trustee may be named with different considerations in mind than what you might otherwise contemplate for a trustee.”

The concept is slowly becoming a reality and the issue is moving to the forefront by necessity.

He points to Facebook as an example, where a person’s page often turns into a memorial after someone has died. But Facebook has acknowledged that pages of those who have deceased have become an issue so it has created death policies, allowing individuals to set up their preferences for what happens to their profiles after they die. Twitter and LinkedIn have also implemented policies.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story
.


Date_Published
2018-01-29
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotAs the rules that apply to tender calls and award of the workcontinue to evolve, new obligations and rights are created forowners and contractors who participate in a bid process. But“muddy” situations may arise, requiring that architects, ownersand their legal advisors, maintain an awareness of the evolvinglaws, and pay careful attention in the preparation of tenderdocuments as well as the valuation of the bids submitted.

Having issued a call for bids, an owner will review the tenders received and select the bid that is most attractive, generally the one that offers the lowest cost or the greatest value to the owner. The process and evaluation method that is most commonly used now is a direct result of the landmark decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in The Queen (Ont.) v. Ron Engineering, [1981] 1 S.C.R. 111 (“Ron Engineering”). At first glance, the legal process seems straightforward enough, but the fallout from the decision has led to a convoluted legal regime that is with us to this day.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on Prodemnity.com.

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2018-01-24
Description

Having a conversation with aging parents about their wishes once they’re unable to care for themselves is difficult, so Toronto litigator Matthew Urback advises adult children to have these talks earlier in life’s stages.

“Sometimes having these discussions suggests to your parents that their days of independence are over, which is not necessarily true. It’s just the way these conversations are perceived,” he tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“A good way to avoid that is simply to have the conversation much earlier. It’s more of a plan for the future versus something that’s happening right now. You’re not implicitly suggesting they are no longer independent, you’re evolving the way you help them,” says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP.

Discussing hot-button issues can sometimes put a loved one in defence mode, he says. But he has some suggestions to make such conversations a little easier.

This is an excerpt from a story that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.

Please click here to read the complete article.

Date_Published
2017-11-15
Description

Although changes that took effect in 2016 mean that testamentary trusts are now generally subject to tax at the highest marginal rate, a notable exception is now in play — the Graduated Rate Estate (GRE), Toronto litigator Matthew Urback writes in The Lawyer’s Daily.

As Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, explains: “A GRE is a special designation that a qualifying estate may adopt. In particular, a GRE is an estate that comes about as a result of an individual’s death, on or after Dec. 31, 2015, and no more than 36 months after the death. The estate at that time must be a testamentary trust. (A series of conditions must also be satisfied in order to qualify.)”

A major benefit of a GRE, says Urback, is that it continues to enjoy graduated tax rates on income earned during this 36-month period. It also strongly incentivizes and rewards charitable giving in a will, he adds.

“Perhaps most notably, charitable donations made on death, or after death, are no longer deemed to have been made by the deceased personally. Instead, the gift is now deemed to be made by the estate,” writes Urback.

This is an excerpt of an interview with AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the rest.

Date_Published
2017-10-04
Description

Shibley Righton's Matthew Urback was interviewed by The Lawyer's Daily about charitable giving in wills. At the beginning of 2016, certain trusts lost what was considered to be an immensely beneficial trait: the ability for income earned within the trust to be taxed at graduated rates. From that point forward, testamentary trusts would generally now be subject to tax at the highest marginal rate, which of course would lead to more tax payable and less income retained.

Needless to say, allowing the Canada Revenue Agency to have its hand further in the pocket of these testamentary trusts is a significant change....

This is an excerpt from the article that appeared on The Lawyer's Daily.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-09-26
Description

A will may never be totally lawsuit-proof, but Toronto litigator Matthew Urback says there are steps people can take to minimize the chances it will be contested in court.

“There are a number of things you can do to reduce that possibility,” Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com.

The best starting point, he says, is to hire a lawyer who can lay out the process and make sure the proper wording and forms are used — someone who understands potential pitfalls so they can be avoided.

Urback says that a good will clearly lays out the intent. And, he adds, it is helpful if the individual clearly articulates his or her plan to the benefactors to avoid surprises later on. Trying to figure it all out later, when the individual is no longer around, can be problematic and may lead to a lawsuit.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared on AdvocateDaily.com.  Please click here to read the complete story.

Date_Published
2017-08-24
Experience
More About
BIO

Matthew Urback practices in the areas of Civil and Commercial Litigation, with a focus on Wills and Estates, Employment Law, and Professional Liability.  He has appeared before the Ontario Court of Appeal as well as various courts of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, including the Estates List, Commercial List, and the Small Claims Court.

Matthew articled with Shibley Righton LLP in 2010-2011, where he gained valuable experience relating to Civil and Commercial Litigation. He returned as an associate in 2011.

Prior to articling, Matthew graduated from law school at Queen’s University where he made the Dean’s Honour List and won the R. W. Leonard Prize in Trusts. While at Queen’s, he was a columnist for the law school newspaper and President of his graduating class. Prior to law school, he obtained his Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mathematics and Human Biology at the University of Toronto, and graduated with Distinction.

Contact Information

T: 416.214.5209
F: 416.214.5409
matthew.urback@shibleyrighton.com

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Education

Queen's University, LL.B., 2010
Univeristy of Toronto, B.Sc. (Hons), 2007

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