Adam Cappelli

Adam Cappelli is a founding partner of Cambridge LLP, with offices in Toronto, Burlington, Ottawa, and Elliot Lake. Prior to co-establishing his own practice in 2010, Adam was a partner for nine years at the largest full-service law firm in Southwestern Ontario (“Golden Horseshoe”) area. Each year since 2006, Adam has been voted by his peers as one of "The Best Lawyers in Canada" in the area of Estates and Trusts Law.

Adam was designated and certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Estates & Trust Law in 1996. This practice area has been his focus for over 20 years (since 1996). In 1996 Adam successfully completed the Certified Financial Planning (CFP) designation, and in 2001 he was certified as a Registered Trust & Estate Practitioner by the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Adam’s extensive experience in managing and resolving hundreds of estate disputes arising from client's’ poor planning and advisors’ bad advice, has given Adam a rare ability to problem solve, and the unique skills to custom design his own clients’ estate plans. Adam also advises executors, trustees, and powers of attorneys in respect of their fiduciary obligations in the management and administration of an estate and/or trust. He is often retained by beneficiaries and trustees in respect of bringing or defending a claim involving an estate or trust.

Adam, together with senior litigation counsel, Doug Elliott, lead a team of associate lawyers at Cambridge LLP in advising clients on a number of diverse estate and trust litigation matters.

Adam received both his Master of Business Administration degree (MBA-1990) and his Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B -1994) from the University of Windsor. Prior to that, Adam graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1987 from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and worked for IBM Canada in corporate finance (1987-1990) and Midland Walwyn Capital Canada (1990) as a financial advisor before obtaining his professional law designation and being called as a SOLICITOR OF THE ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE  and OF THE COURT OF APPEAL FOR ONTARIO in 1996.

Areas of Expertise
  • Estate Planning: continuing powers of attorney for property, living wills/health care directives, wills and multiple will plans, testamentary spouse and family trusts, irrevocable living trusts, alter-ego and joint partner trusts, insurance trusts and cottage/resident trusts
  • Estate Administration: probate proceedings, estate accountings, distributions and wind-ups, advising executors, trustees and beneficiaries
  • Estate Litigation: Will challenges, trustee/executor negligence, passing of accounts, guardianship of property and person applications, executor disputes, dependent relief claims, power of attorney disputes, etc.
  • Henson Trusts
  • Qualified Disability Trusts
  • Creditor Protection Trusts
  • Alter-ego and Joint Partner Trusts
  • Family Trusts
  • Cross-Border Trusts
Organizations & Activities

Member of Estate Planners' Council of Oakville

Member of Estate Planners' Council of Hamilton (1998-2008)

Member of the Law Society of Upper Canada (Since 1996)

Member of the Hamilton Club (1996-2008)

Member of Hamilton Law Association

Solicitor of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice

Former Sessional Instructor, M.B.A Program - Level II, Estate Planning, Degroote School of Business, McMaster University

Co-Chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation "Ride For Research" Corporate Challenge - Hamilton (Since 2008)

Co-Chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation "Auction For The Cure" - Hamilton (Since 2008)

Member of the Planned Giving Committee for the Hamilton Health Science Foundation

Member of the Board of Directors for the McMaster University Foundation (Since 2006)

Member of the Board of Directors for the Von Foundation, Hamilton (2003-2007)

Chairman of Planned Giving Committee - Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre Foundation (2000-2002)

Conferences and Lectures

Presented at estate planning workshops and seminars sponsored by Assante Capital Management Ltd., CIBC Woody Gundy Inc., Dundee Securities Corporation, Dundee Wealth Management Limited, RBC Dominion Securities Ltd., RBC Investments Limited, The Royal Bank of Canada, Burgeonvest Securities Limited, Laurentian Financial Ltd., Berkshire Investment Group Inc., Merrill Lynch Canada Inc., Pearson-Dunn Insurance Brokers, Berkshire Securities Inc., AIC Investments Inc., Great West Life Insurance Company of Canada, Investors Group Ltd., Bick Financial Security Corporation, Kingsgate Financial Corporation, Integrity Wealth Management Ltd., TD Waterhouse Ltd., BMO Nesbitt Burns Ltd., Scotia MacLeod Inc.

Presented at estate planning workshops and seminars sponsored by VON Hamilton, McMaster University School of Social Work, Canadian Association of Gift Planners, McMaster Centre for Gerontological Studies, Hamilton Estate Planners Council, Canadian Association of Financial Advisors, The Alzheimer's Society of Hamilton, The Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre Foundation, Catholic Family Services, The Funeral Advisory Society of Hamilton, Ontario Friends of Schizophrenics Society, Joseph Brant Memorial Foundation, The Parkinson's Society of Hamilton, Wellwood Cancer Assistance Centre, St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation, Canadian Association of Interns & Residents

Papers presented to the International Section of the Florida Bar Association entitled "Estates and Trusts in Ontario" (August 2003)

Authored handbook entitled "Empowering Your Attorney - A practical guide for appointing and acting as a Power of Attorney for Property in Ontario" (2002)

Presented at the Canadian Dental Association continuing legal education program on "Estate Planning for Professionals" (March 2003)

Papers written for and presented to the Hamilton Law Association at the annual symposium entitled: "The Pitfalls of Joint Ownership as an Estate Planning Tool" (February 2003); "Making Money Making Wills" (February 2004); and "Advising the Attorney for Property - The Do's and Don'ts When Planning & Managing the Affairs of the Incompetent " (February 2005); "Compensation for Attorneys and Executors" (February 2006)

Special Guest Speaker on local radio and television programs to provide commentary on various estate planning topics

Regular columnist for the Hamilton Spectator Newspaper on the topic of Estate Planning in the Law & Money Section