Rachel L. Blumenfeld TEP

Partner Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1998

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  • Bio
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Professional Involvement
  • Selected Speaking Engagements
  • Selected Publications
  • Insights
  • Education

Rachel advises clients on estates, tax and succession planning matters. By asking the right questions and listening carefully, Rachel gets the information she needs to structure her clients’ affairs effectively. She is an active speaker and participant at conferences and professional development events, ensuring she remains a leader on rapidly changing legal tax rules and regulations.

As a member of the firm's Estates & Trusts and Tax Groups, and Co-Chair of the Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Group, Rachel’s practice focuses on trusts and estates, personal tax planning, and charities and not-for-profit law. She advises on tax, trusts, estate planning and administration, preparation of wills, power of attorney documents, business succession, and insurance planning. Rachel has significant experience with cross-border planning for clients who have U.S. or other foreign connections. She also works with families with disabled children to plan and structure their estates appropriately and offers advice to charities and donors on planned giving, philanthropic programs, administration of bequests and other gifts.

Rachel frequently writes and speaks on topics involving tax and estate planning, life insurance and business succession planning and charitable giving for audiences such as insurance and financial advisers, accountants, fundraising professionals, and fellow lawyers. She is involved in the community and serves on a number of not-for-profit and charitable boards. Rachel was elected the Chair of STEP Canada for the 2023-2025 term. 

Awards & Recognition

  • Named Best Lawyers' 2022 "Lawyer of the Year" in Trusts and Estates (Toronto)
  • Awarded the 2021 STEP Founder’s Award for Outstanding Achievement
  • Awarded the 2018 STEP Canada Michael Cadesky Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Trust and Estate Practitioner designation (TEP)
  • Recognized in Chambers HNW: The World's Leading High Net Worth Advisers for her expertise in Private Wealth Law (Canada)
  • Recognized in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as leading practitioner in Estate & Personal Tax Planning and Charities and Not-for-Profit Law
  • Noted in the 2018 Lexpert Guide to US/Canada Cross-border Lawyers in Canada
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Trusts & Estates and Charities / Non-Profit Law
  • Listed in the Best Lawyers Global Business Edition 2020 in Trusts & Estates and Charities / Non-Profit Law
  • Recognized as a Global Leader and Thought Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Private Client and National Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Canada - Private Client
  • Recognized in Legal Media Group's Trusts and Estates Expert Guide and Women in Business Law Expert Guide
  • Honoured as the 2016 Volunteer of the Year by STEP Toronto
  • Awarded the 2012 Ontario Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section Hoffstein Book Prize

Professional Involvement

Professional Activities

  • Chair, STEP Canada (2023-2025)
  • Past National Secretary (2015-2019) and Director at Large (2014-2015), STEP Canada
  • Past President, Toronto Estate Planning Council, 2016-2017
  • Chair, CALU Associate Member Conference, 2016 & 2017
  • Chair, STEP Canada National Conference, 2015
  • Co-Chair, STEP Canada National Conference, 2012-2014
  • Member, STEP Toronto Executive, 2007-2013


  • Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section, Tax Section, Charities Section)
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP Canada)
  • Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Academician, The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law
  • Conference of Advanced Life Underwriters (CALU)
  • Canadian Association of Gift Planners
  • Canadian Tax Foundation

Community Involvement 

  • Director, Reena and Past Director, Reena Foundation
  • Past Director, McMichael Canadian Art Foundation
  • Past Director, Toronto Partnership Minyan
  • Past Director, York Region Community Foundation
  • Past Director, Netivot HaTorah Day School

Selected Speaking Engagements

STEP Canada National Conference, June 3-4, 2024.

"How to Leave a Part of Your Estate to a Child Unable to Manage Their Own," Moolala Podcast, SiriusXM Radio Canada Talks, November 4, 2023.

STEP Israel Jubilee Conference, June 13-14, 2023. 

"Post Mortem Planning – Where Are We Now?," CALU 2023 Conference & AGM, May 7-10, 2023.

"Those With Special Needs, Need Special Planning," RBC Wealth Management Podcast, March 15, 2023.

"Estate Planning for Business Owners," Financial Planning For Canadian Business Owners Podcast, December 10, 2020.

"US-Canadian Planning Updates," STEP Los Angeles Conference, December 2019.

"A Century of Trust Law in Asia & in North America," New York State Bar Association International Section Global Conference, November 2019.

"Mine or Yours? Community Property in Different Jurisdictions," STEP Israel Annual Conference, June 2019.

"Private  Clients and Non-Israeli Trusts: Practical and Tax Considerations: The Use of Non-Israeli Trusts for and by Israeli Residents - Canada," Israel Bar  Association Committee for Private Israeli Law, June 2019.

"Wills Drafting," Osgoode Professional Development, February 2019.

“Estate Planning Issues for Blended Families,” RBC Wealth Management Services Conference, November 2018.

“Estate Planning and Administration,” Osgoode Professional Development, November 2018.

“Tips, Traps and Opportunities When International Planning Comes into the Picture,” STEP Atlantic, October 2018.

“Harmonizing Wealth Transfer Across the Canada-United States Border: The Challenges of Canada-United States Estate Planning,” NYSBA International Section Seasonal Meeting 2018, October 2018.

“Foreign Administrations and Administrations Under Multiple Legislations,” Practice Gems: Administration of Estates 2018, LSO, September 2018.

“Legal Fundamentals for Private, Owner-Managed and Family Businesses,” Aird & Berlis LLP Webinar, September 2018.

“Winding Up an Estate,” STEP 20th National Conference 2018, May 2018.

“Cross-Border Retirement Planning,” STEP International Trust and Estate Planning Forum: Around the Globe in 2018, May 2018.

“Legal Lens on Women’s Health: Age and Your Career,” Aird & Berlis LLP Webinar, April 2018.

“July 18th Tax Proposals Q&A,” STEP Canada's Live National Webcast, November 2017.

“Effective Estate Planning for Blended Families,” RBC and Royal Trust Company Presentation, October 2017.

“Estate Planning Issues for Blended Families: How to Maintain Harmony While Protecting Your Assets,” Aird & Berlis LLP Estates & Trusts Webinar, June 2017.

“Advisor Collaboration … and the True Cost of Estate Plans,” 2017 CALU Annual Meeting, May 2017.

“Estates Law Update,” Aird & Berlis LLP Estates & Trusts Webinar, April 2017.

“Common Complexities: There’s No Such Thing as a “Simple” Estate,” STEP Canada, February 2017.

“Planning for People with Special Needs,” STEP Toronto, September 2016.

“Estate Planning and the Jewish Laws of Inheritance,” STEP Canada National Conference, June 2016.

“Competing Fiduciary Obligations,” STEP Toronto, May 2016.

“Estate and Gift Planning,” McMichael Art Foundation, May 2016.

“Cross-Border Estate Planning,” STEP Los Angeles, May 2016.

“Drafting Trusts: Avoiding Common Pitfalls,” Ontario Bar Association, February 2016.

“Key Estate Planning Considerations for the High Conflict Family,” Osgoode Professional Development Centre, February 2016.

“Probate Planning in Light of the Recent Changes to the Estate Administration Tax Act,” Ontario Tax Conference, October 2015.

“Practice Gems: Estate Administration Checklist,” LSUC, September 2015.

“The New Qualified Disability Trust Regime,” STEP Canada Conference, June 2015.

“Annual Intensive Wills and Estates Workshop,” Osgoode Professional Development Centre, 2007-2017.

“Cross-Border Tax and Estate Planning: Tips and Traps,” National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Conference, April 26, 2012.

Selected Publications

"Recent Estate Planning Developments in Canada," Insurance Planning, Federated Press, 2022, Volume XXVII, No. 2.

"All Change in Ontario," co-Authored with Marni Pernica and David Byun, STEP Journal, August 26, 2021.

"Remote Witnessing in Wills and Powers of Attorney in Canada," co-Authored with Marni Pernica and David Byun, The International Comparative Legal Guide: Private Client 2021, Global Legal Group, January 2021.

"Challenges at Home and Abroad: Estate Planning for Blended Families in Canada," co-Authored with Marni Pernica, The International Comparative Legal Guide: Private Client 2020, Global Legal Group, January 2020.

"Canada Chapter," Trusts in Prime Jurisdictions, 5th Edition, Globe Law and Business, December 2019.

“More Trouble with Separation Agreements and Beneficiary Designations,” co-Authored with Jonathan Pellow, Insurance Planning, Federated Press, 2019, Volume XXIV, No. 2.

“Canada's New Tax on Split Income Regime is Here to Stay," co-Authored with Robert Santia, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Private Client 2019, Global Legal Group, January 2019.

“Beneficiary Designations - Manitoba Law Commission Proposes Changes to The Beneficiary Designation Act (Retirement, Savings and Other Plans),” co-Authored with Monica Carinci, CALU INFOexchange, 2018, Vol. 3.

“Philanthropy in Canada: New Rules and Opportunities,” co-Authored with Elise Pulver, The International Comparative Legal Guide to Private Client 2018, Global Legal Group, January 2018.

“Multi-Jurisdictional Pre-Immigration Planning,” co-Authored with Robert Santia, Ed Powles, Emma-Jane Weider, Alon Kaplan, Lyat Eyal, Stanley A. Barg and Eric Dorsch, Trusts & Trustees, Oxford University PressSeptember 2017.

Trusts in Prime Jurisdictions, “Canada Chapter,” co-Author with Martin Rochwerg, February 2016.

“The New Qualified Disability Trust Regime,” STEP Inside, January 2016.

“Ontario’s Estate Administration Tax,” co-Author with Nicole Hastings, Ontario Tax Conference, October 2015.

“Estate Planning and the Jewish Laws of Inheritance,” B'nai Brith Law Journal, March 2009.


  • LLB, University of British Columbia, 1996
  • MA (International Relations), Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1988
  • BA (International Relations), University of Toronto, 1983