Estate Law

“You’ve worked hard all your life to provide the very best for your family, protect the ones you love, Make A Will.”

Estate Planning/Administration

 

We understand that this is not an easy topic to discuss or plan, but it is a very important

one. Whether it is planning the distribution of your estate or the administration of an

estate, both processes can be very time consuming and overwhelming. We take the

time to listen and understand your situation with care and patience. We advise you

accordingly and guide you appropriately, in a professional manner.

Some people believe that estate planning should only occur for individuals who have

accumulated substantial wealth during their lifetime. Not true! We highly recommend

that everyone plan their estate during their lifetime in order to protect their loved ones

and their assets in the event of death. With proper estate planning, you control who

receives your property, appoint the guardian of your children and choose who settles

your affairs. Wills should be updated as circumstances in your life change, such as the

birth of a child, a death in the family, marriages, divorces and property acquisition. Your

Will should be reviewed regularly to make sure it continues to reflect your wishes. If

you die without a Will, your estate will be administered pursuant to provincial laws and

your beneficiaries may be subjected to unnecessary costs and delays.

A Power of Attorney is protection for you in the event that you become either physically or mentally incapable during your lifetime.  With Powers of Attorney in place, you are able to appoint someone you trust to make financial and/or medical decisions for you, in the event you are unable to do so yourself.

Elizabeth has practised in the area of Wills and Estates since 1996 and she has

substantial experience in drafting all forms of Wills and Trusts, Powers of Attorney

(Property/Personal Care) and Supplementary/Corporate Wills.

We provide Estate Trustees (Executors) with legal advice and assistance in order that

they may carry out their responsibilities in the settling of an Estate. Estate Trustees

have a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the estate and in accordance with

the wishes of the deceased. Administering an estate can be more complex than people

imagine. It involves not only the distribution of the assets but also review and

interpretation of the Will, identifying and communicating with beneficiaries, obtaining

probate, identifying assets, dealing with bank accounts, insurance policies and

investments, filing necessary tax and/or trust returns, preparing estate accounting, and

distribution and release.

Elizabeth is a compassionate lawyer you can trust to guide you through the process in a

timely manner.

 

Estate Litigation

 

After the death of a loved one, beneficiaries and family members may dispute the terms

of a Will and/or the validity of a Will. This may include who was left out of the Will and/or

what assets do/do not form part of the estate. One of the most common issues facing

beneficiaries is whether certain assets, left outside of the Will (ie joint ownership) should

in fact form part of the estate. Individuals may choose to leave an asset (ie joint bank

accounts) outside the Will and entrust another person to distribute it as they wished

following their death. When death occurs, however, the person who has the asset may

claim it was not, in fact, held in trust and was actually a gift for his or her sole use.

Understanding a testator’s intention in regards to property outside of the Will is

important to determine its status.

It is important to have an experienced and trustworthy lawyer during these difficult times.