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

2011 (Ontario)

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

Matthew Urback Head ShotOnline will kits are affordable and easy to use, but they deny the testator the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with a professional about individual circumstances and wishes, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew 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
2019-07-22
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotCelebrities are just like the rest of us when it comes to estate disputes, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew 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
2019-06-21
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotTestators should steer clear of ambiguous language if they wish to avoid a will challenge after their death, says Toronto wills and estates lawyer Matthew Urback.

In a recent decision, Alberta’s Court of Appeal upheld a lower court judge’s decision to include personal items located on the deceased’s property in the award to his surviving daughters after he bequeathed his "home" to them. That ruling came over the objections of the dead man’s brother, who hoped to inherit the disputed items as the beneficiary of the estate’s residue.

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

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2019-05-23
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotWith almost a decade of experience behind him, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback has seen it all when it comes to estate plans.

Urback, partner with Shibley Righton LLP, shares with AdvocateDaily.com some of the biggest estate planning mistakes he’s come across.

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

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2019-04-25
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotPeople who live common-law with a new partner after the breakdown of a marriage are advised to get their affairs in order — and get a will, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“If that person were to die, it could be a messy situation,” says Urback, associate with Shibley Righton LLP. “Even if you were with a new spouse in a common-law relationship for decades, the law says that if you’re married, your former spouse will have an entitlement to your estate.”

The way the law treats people who die without a will — or intestate — is set out in Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, which explicitly details how an estate will be divided between surviving family members and relatives, “with spouse defined in that circumstance as ‘two people who are married each other,’” he explains.

If someone is in a common-law relationship and they don’t get a divorce to formally end their earlier marriage, Urback says the Act will stipulate that the former spouse has an entitlement to the estate, even if they parted decades ago.

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

Please click here to read the rest of the story
.


Date_Published
2019-03-25
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotKnowing when to stop the search for a will following the death of a loved one is a tough call, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Urback, associate with Shibley Righton LLP, says it’s surprisingly common for uncertainty to reign among family and friends about whether the deceased actually left a will behind.

“It’s almost like proving a negative because you’re searching for something that you’re not sure actually exists,” he explains. “That means it’s hard to know when to throw in the towel.”

Each case is unique, but Urback says potential beneficiaries should be guided by their own judgment, based on their knowledge of the deceased.

“If it was someone who kept all their money under the mattress, then you’re going to have a different threshold than if it’s someone who was highly sophisticated in terms of seeking professional and financial planning advice,” he says.   

If a person had a close relationship with a particular lawyer or law firm they would turn to frequently for advice, Urback says that’s the first place family and friends should check for a will.  

However, he acknowledges that not everyone seeks legal advice to draw up a will.

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

Please click here to read the rest of the story.

Date_Published
2019-02-27
Description

Matthew Urback Head ShotA will offers testators a measure of control over their assets even in death, Toronto litigator Matthew Urback tells AdvocateDaily.com.

“In your lifetime, you have the ability to use your property and spend money however you see fit,” says Urback, an associate with Shibley Righton LLP. “I would suggest most people would want to see that authority continue in death.

“If you don’t make a will, you’re basically leaving the allocation of your assets to the law,” he says, noting that Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act (SLRA) sets out strict rules for the distribution of an estate when a person dies without a will.

According to the law, the deceased’s surviving spouse gets the first $200,000 from any estate, with the remainder divided through a formula between the spouse and any surviving children. When there is just one child, the remaining assets are split equally with the spouse.

If there is more than one child, then the spouse gets one-third of the amount over $200,000, and the remaining two-thirds are divided equally among all the children. 

However, the SLRA does not take into account the individual circumstances of the deceased, Urback 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
2019-01-25
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
Experience
More About
BIO

Matthew Urback practices in the areas of general litigation (civil, commercial, and estate litigation) 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 in 2010-2011. He returned to the firm as a lawyer in 2011, where he has practiced since.

Matthew has a particular focus on Estates, Wills, and Trusts Litigation. He has experience with a variety of practice areas within this field, such as will challenges, guardianship applications, passing of accounts applications, solicitor's negligence, and other estate disputes. He acts for fiduciaries, both individual and institutional beneficiaries, and drafting solicitors. Matthew also practices in estate planning and administration and drafts wills and powers of attorney, where he uses his litigation experience to better assist his clients in achieving their goals.

Prior to his law career, 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.

In his spare time, Matthew enjoys sports, travelling, and spending time with his family.

Contact Information

T: 416.214.5209
F: 416.214.5409
E: 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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