Our Wills, Trusts and Estates practice group provides comprehensive services in the areas of estate planning and administration, business succession planning, international and domestic trusts, estate litigation, and not-for-profit and charity matters. Our clients include Canadian and international individuals and families, privately held companies, trust companies, financial institutions and advisors, and accounting firms. Our lawyers are pleased to offer high caliber advice to all of our clients in a professional and efficient manner.
We assist our clients in all aspects of estate administration. We appreciate that following the death of a friend or family member, many questions arise and decisions have to be made. We are able to provide you with the legal help you need at a very difficult time.
We have much experience in preparing probate documents to apply for a Certificate of Appointment. We have dealt with very straightforward applications as well more difficult situations such as those where a Will is found invalid due to improper execution, the original Will cannot be located, the Will is not in English, etc. We have a range of experience amongst our lawyers and a dedicated estate administration law clerk which allows us to handle a variety of straightforward and complex administrations in a cost effective manner.
We work with many international clients such that we have experience in handling probate applications initiated in another country.
In addition to the probate process, we are available to assist our clients with all aspects of the administration of an estate, including the following:
We also help administer both inter vivos trusts and testamentary trusts for our domestic and international clients. This can involve:
Our trust and estate lawyers assist clients in all aspects of estate planning, including:
In addition, we assist clients with the establishment of domestic and international trusts for various purposes, including asset protection, income splitting opportunities, multi-generational wealth preservation, for the benefit of minors and incapable persons, to avoid probate fees and to defer income tax. We regularly help clients create family trusts, Henson trusts and alter ego and joint spousal trusts.
Family conflicts are an unfortunate but all-too-common occurrence when a close family member passes. They arise for a multitude of reasons. The terms of the Will may be unclear or contradictory. The circumstances surrounding the signing of the Will may be suspicious, or the capacity of the testator in doubt. Family members or former spouses may have expected a benefit they did not receive. Or beneficiaries may believe that the person named as the estate trustee may not be administering the estate in an open and transparent manner.
Whether it is confusion over the terms of a Will, or surprise at its contents, or even the complete lack of a Will, estate trustees and beneficiaries are often unsure of their legal rights or obligations.
At Beard, Winter LLP, our lawyers provide estate trustees, beneficiaries and others with the sound advice and expertise needed to navigate through this complex area of law and have these conflicts resolved.
Our lawyers are regularly retained by clients to represent them in all areas of estate litigation. For example:
Powers of Attorney are the documents in place while you are alive. In Ontario, there are two types: Powers of Attorney for Property and Powers of Attorney for Personal Care. We regularly prepare such documents for clients as part of their overall estate plan.
We also prepare limited Powers of Attorney for Property for specific time periods or particular projects such as for the purposes of only managing certain investment accounts, voting on certain private company shares, dealing with a law or medical practice, to sell a house while someone is away on holidays, etc.
Many appointed attorneys, when faced with having to start acting pursuant to these documents, are unaware of their rights, obligations and liabilities. We are routinely retained to provide advice to attorneys for property and attorneys for personal care to help them understand their role and avoid potential liability.