Planning your estate is preparing the best possible care for your loved ones. With skill and compassion, we help you determine a plan that honours your wishes. From appointing an Executor to administer your assets after death, selecting a guardian for the care of your children, deciding on the distribution of your assets, to the creation of trusts for the benefit of a child or other person, we work closely with you to keep your estate plans current at every stage of your life cycle. It’s never too early or late to start planning your estate. Contact us today.
Having an estate plan and Will in place gives the peace of mind of knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of and the assets you acquired over your lifetime will be distributed according to your wishes. It can also help reduce the chance of a dispute arising among beneficiaries of the estate. As part of the planning process we also help prepare health care directives, Representation Agreements, Powers of Attorney and Living Wills.
For many of our clients who hold private or family business enterprises, of any size, succession planning is a vital part of estate planning. We are experienced in helping our clients with establishing succession plans for their businesses and with working with the unique needs of families with inherited wealth.
We frequently assist our clients with putting in place trusts that take effect during their lifetime or following. Trusts can be used to accomplish a number of estate planning goals such as reducing taxation, providing support to beneficiaries during your lifetime, or passing assets to a charity.
When a person becomes unable to care for themselves and/or to make decisions about their financial affairs, a legal guardian can be appointed, known as a Committee. We provide the legal assistance to make the requisite application to Court to have the Committee appointed for either the person, the estate, or both. A Committee can be appointed even if a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement is already in place.
We are available to assist our clients with Probate and Administration. Letters Probate is issued by the Supreme Court of British Columbia after person has died and left a Will. It formally confirms the Will, its validity, and the appointment of the Executor named within it. Letters of Administration is a similar document but is issued where a person dies without leaving a Will.
We work closely with our Litigation Dispute Resolution group when representing clients who feel they have been unjustly excluded from an estate, or question the validity of a Will. We seek our client’s instructions to find an amicable resolution but will, when needed, litigate matters vigorously to advance and protect our client’s interests.
The Will provides us with a guide to ensure the deceased person’s wishes are honoured, and that assets are distributed as requested. There are a lot of legal matters that need to be addressed. We work closely with the appointed Executor, advising on all the important and sensitive legal issues and documentation involved in administering the Estate.
Everything you own is a part of your Estate. That’s the simple answer. More complicated is the understanding of how title to the assets, market values, joint tenancy and other legal documentation can impact their distribution after you’re gone. We can help you prepare, preserve and protect the status of your assets for peace of mind.
Debts are a fact of life, and sometimes of death. Part of administering the Estate includes determining and settling the balance of any outstanding debts owed by the deceased. Our lawyers will assist the Executor in all the required steps to ensure the legitimacy of the debts and their rightful payments.
The Executor has a big and vital responsibility, one that requires a commitment of personal time and, sometimes, resources. To help offset these outlays, the Executor is often entitled to a percentage fee based on the value of the Estate and amount of work needed. Much is dependent on the size and scope of the required commitment. We can provide you with the details you need.
The Will isn’t always the final word. Sometimes a spouse or child of the deceased believes they weren’t adequately provided for. Or there is an allegation that the Will is invalid due to improper execution, undue influence or lack of capacity. Our expertise in the Wills Estates and Succession Act can help you navigate and address these concerns.
When someone dies without a Will they die “intestate” and, the Supreme Court of British Columbia may appoints an Administrator of the Estate to govern how the deceased person’s assets will pass. Without a Will, assets within the Estate will be distributed in accordance with the Wills Estates and Succession Act and need to be determined and verified, and many legal steps must be taken to ensure that debts are paid and the remaining assets are appropriately distributed. We work closely with the appointed Administrator, advising on all the important and sensitive legal issues and documentation involved in administering the Estate.
Have more questions? Talk to one of our Wills, Estates, and Trust Lawyers now.