Complex estate planning requires the attention of professionals with access to significant resources and a clear understanding of a complicated legal landscape. Put legal counsel on your side that has a proven record of service.
You can rely on our lawyers to customize a strategy for your unique financial and asset management needs. We help you prepare documents and explore a full range of estate planning options, including:
- Will drafting
- Establishing trusts (including family trusts, testamentary trusts, insurance trusts)
- Tax planning
- Drafting of living wills and advance medical directives
- Naming powers of attorney
- Business succession planning
- Appointment of trustees
We will use our proven experience to help keep your family and estate from being tied up in costly and acrimonious litigation.
We also provide a wealth of information and services to inform and educate clients. See our Resources page for access to our podcasts, videos and publications.
A GUIDE TO ESTATE PLANNING
At a certain stage in our lives most of us will need to confront the reality of contacting an estate lawyer for the purpose of preparing our will and planning for the passing of our estate.
Estate planning laws may differ from province to province, so it is essential to clarify your provincial entitlements.
What does estate planning involve?
Estate planning involves arranging the transfer of your assets in anticipation of death and aims to secure the maximum financial package possible for transfer to your intended beneficiaries. It also provides you with structured and flexible financial decision making until your death.
Our lawyers can help you draw up an estate plan, which includes:
- A list of your assets including property, pensions, investments and personal assets as well as a breakdown of the ownership of these assets.
- A list of your liabilities and debts.
- A main objective or structure to your plan. This can be different for many reasons, as you may want to provide for the well-being of your siblings once you have passed away, or you could give it all to charity.
- An outline of any outcomes that you want to avoid. This can prevent potential executor disputes or situations that may cause family disharmony.
- Details of possible provision of power of attorney or appointment of an estate trustee to deal with your financial affairs.
After the estate plan has been prepared, we can help you draw up a will providing instructions for the distribution of your estate along with any relevant guardianship choices involving children. This document should be updated every three to five years or when circumstances dictate.
What if I have made no provision for my death?
In the event that you have not written a will, appointed an estate trustee or prepared an estate plan in any form, the results may be very different:
- The person assigned to be the executor of your estate may not be the person you had requested. This could lead to lengthy and expensive executor disputes.
- Any property distributed will be done so according to legislative formula.
- The distribution of the estate to your beneficiaries may be severely delayed with higher administration costs.
Schedule an Appointment
To review your estate planning needs or to schedule an initial consultation at our office, contact us today.