Ruth M. Spetz



[email protected]

Ruth practises in the areas of tax, trusts, estates, family enterprise 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 also holds the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners’ TEP, the Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA), the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and the Institute of Corporate Directors’ ICD.D designations.

She currently serves as a Director at Large of STEP Canada and a director of Fiera Capital Foundation.

Ruth provides legal services through a Law Corporation.


  • 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 on family enterprise and transition strategies.
  • Advising families and trustees on managing trusts, 21 year deemed disposition, trust variations, terminations and rollouts to beneficiaries.
  • 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 U.S. 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.

Beyond Our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Board Director, STEP Canada, 2019 – present
  • Chair, STEP Member Services Committee, 2023 – present
  • Chair, STEP Worldwide Governance Committee, 2024
  • STEP Calgary Branch Chair, 2019-2021
  • Academician, The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law
  • Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Member, Family Enterprise Canada
  • Member, Alberta Family Business Institute
  • Member, Institute of Corporate Directors
  • Member, Estate Planning Council of Calgary
  • Member, Canadian Tax Foundation
  • Member, Family Firm Institute
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recognized in the 2024 edition (and since 2006) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Tax Law; Trusts and Estates).
  • Recognized in the 2024 edition (and since 2013) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Estate & Personal Tax Planning) and since 2020 (Charities/Not-For-Profit Law).
  • Recognized in the 2023 edition (and since 2021) of the Who's Who Legal: Canada (Private Client).
  • Recognized in the 2022 (and 2017-2020) editions of Chambers High Net Worth (Private Wealth Law).
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in Canada® as the 2020, 2018 and 2015 “Calgary Trusts & Estates Lawyer of the Year.”
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel, 2020. 

Bar Admission & Education

  • Alberta, 1991
  • Ontario, 1990
  • Saskatchewan, 1986
  • Family Enterprise Advisor, Family Enterprise Canada, 2018
  • Directors Education Program, Institute of Corporate Directors, 2010
  • Certified Financial Planner, FP Canada, 2003
  • In-Depth Tax Course, Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, 1994
  • In-Depth Tax Course, Canadian Bar Association, 1993
  • LLB, University of Saskatchewan, 1985