Ruth Spetz  


Executive Summary

Ruth Spetz is the Regional Group Manager of Specialized Business Law and a partner in our Calgary office. Ruth is also a member of our Regional Compensation Advisory Committee, Chair of the Calgary Monitoring and Admissions Committee and Vice-Chair of our Not-for-Profit Group. Ruth practises in the areas of tax, trusts, estates, succession planning, charities and not-for-profits. She advises private clients, trusts, family offices, closely held corporations and foundations and serves as a director and trustee of private client interests.

Ruth has completed the Canadian Bar Association’s Tax Law Course, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ In-Depth Tax Course, and the Institute of Corporate Directors’ Education Program. She also holds the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ TEP designation, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and the Institute of Corporate Directors’ ICD.D certifications.​​​​​

Representative Work

  • Advising senior-generation family members, establishing and varying Canadian trusts, reorganizing Canadian private corporation interests, negotiating next-generation shareholder agreements, and related business-succession, asset management and estate-planning matters.
  • Advising and implementing butterfly reorganizations of private corporations.
  • Advising private corporations pertaining to Canada Revenue Agency audits of foreign exchange, Part IV tax and inter-provincial income allocation issues. Negotiated favourable advance tax ruling in connection with foreign exchange implications of intercorporate loans.
  • Advising personal representatives of complex estates involving court sealing of grants of probate, resealing in other Canadian and US jurisdictions, administration of testamentary trusts, tax implications of donation of private corporation shares and gifts by will, and wind-up and reorganization of private corporation interests.
  • Preparing tax-planned wills for high-net-worth individuals involving complex tax, estate and family situations, testamentary trusts and philanthropic planning.
  • Advising donors, charities and non-profit organizations regarding tax implications of structuring operations, establishing legal entities, obtaining and maintaining charitable registration, and trust/corporate governance.
  • Establishing and obtaining charitable registration of private foundations for senior executives anticipating a liquidity event and parallel foundations for public entities.
  • Advising trusts and private foundations undergoing Canada Revenue Agency and provincial audits.
  • Advising on the implications of various gifting and investment strategies.
  • Advising on and establishing Canadian structures to hold US recreational property.

Publications & Presentations

  • Regular speaker on tax-, estate- and charitable-planning issues for professional and community groups including the Canadian Bar Association, Canadian Tax Foundation, Canadian Society of Association Executives, Estate Planning Council of Calgary, Legal Education Society of Alberta, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and Canadian Private Family Office Invitational.
  • Speaker/Author, “Charitable Donations at Death,” Legal Education Society of Alberta, 48th Annual Refresher: Wills and Estates, Lake Louise, 2015
  • Speaker/Author​​, “The New Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act,” Legal Education Society of Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton, 2012.
  • Speaker “Tax Update,” 6th Canadian Private Family Office Invitational, 2011.
  • Speaker, “The Role of the Trustee – Duties and Powers,” STEP, 2009.​
  • Speaker, “Private Foundations: Opportunities & Challenges,” STE​P, 2008.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2019 (and since 2006) edition of Best Lawyers in Canada® (Tax Law and Trusts and Estates).
  • Recognized in the 2017 and 2018 editions of Chambers High Net Worth (Private Wealth Law).
  • Selected by peers as the 2018 and 2015 Calgary Trusts & Estates Lawyer of the Year by The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • Recognized in the 2017 edition (and since 2013) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Estate & Personal Tax Planning).
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.