Wills, Trusts & Estates
Protecting your loved ones is top of mind when preparing for the eventual transfer of your estate. Our Wills and Estates team ensure that everything is in place so that your wishes are carried out as planned when the time arises, to safeguard your beneficiaries.
To learn more about protecting your loved ones during COVID-19, please read our news update.
A valid will must comply with numerous laws and regulations. By conducting in-depth questionnaires and interviews about clients’ family relationships, businesses, real estate interests, investments and accounts, insurance coverage, beneficial interests, and other assets, we help clients prepare a will that fits their unique circumstances. When necessary, we work with clients’ accountants and financial advisers to structure their will as part of a comprehensive estate planning package, to minimize costs and avoid confusion.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone to act on your behalf when dealing with your assets and finances. Authorizing a Power of Attorney can save your loved ones considerable time, expense and stress if unexpected issues arise, and can provide you with the peace of mind that your matters will be taken care of in the way that you would wish.
We help clients understand the different types of powers of attorney to help them determine what powers they might need and what limits they may wish to include. To provide for unforeseen events, we help clients to prepare and execute powers of attorney that are less likely to be challenged or invalidated in the future.
A representation agreement authorizes someone else to make decisions about your medical treatment in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This includes decisions regarding whether or not to continue medical treatments, or whether to attempt risky treatments.
Making decisions about a loved one’s healthcare can be a difficult burden, so we work with clients to prepare representation agreements that ensure the client’s wishes are honoured, and where required, ensure only the appropriate loved ones are involved in the decision making process.
Trusts and Disability Trusts
A trust allows you to appoint a third party to manage specific assets in trust for certain persons or purposes. Legally, the trustee owns the assets held in trust, but they can only use or distribute them in accordance with the deed of trust. Trusts are often created to serve a larger goal, such as reorganizing a family business or capital properties to transfer to the next generation. There are many legal and financial advantages to creating a trust, but also many potentially problematic issues that must be carefully considered.
Working with accountants and financial advisors, we create trusts that are tailored to your unique circumstances, including alter ego trusts, joint spousal trusts, disability trusts, family trusts, and charitable purpose trusts.
Estates and Probate
After a death, executors and estate administrators must navigate complicated court rules when managing and distributing the estate of the deceased.
We have decades of experience guiding clients through the procedures required to manage and distribute an estate, including advising on the validity of wills, drafting and filing probate or administration documents with the court, communicating with banks, government agencies, and other agencies to deal with the deceased’s assets, and passing the executor or administrator’s accounts before the court.