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Wills and Estates: Practice Areas


A Will is a written document which controls the disposal of your property after your death. It allows you to state what should be done with your property and allows you to appoint the person you want to represent your estate after death. If you die without a will, Provincial Law will govern the distribution of your property and decide who should represent your estate. In that case your property may be distributed in a manner contrary to your wishes. The Provincial Law which governs distribution of a person’s property is inflexible and benefit only certain blood relatives. A bequest of property to organizations, charities, or to people who are not blood relatives, as well as the forgiveness of debts, can only be accomplished through a Will.

If you have already made a will you should review it from time to time to make sure that it is up to date with your current wishes and needs.

Some assets pass automatically at death. For example, assets such as an RRSP with a beneficiary designated will pass automatically to the designated beneficiary. If the deceased holds a joint bank account, the proceeds of the joint bank account pass to the surviving joint owner of the bank account. If the deceased holds real property (land) with another as a joint tenant, the real property passes to the surviving joint tenant simply by survivorship.  It can save a great deal of time, expense, and stress for your family and loved ones during a time of grief.

It's important to have a Will, not just to ensure that your assets are distributed in accordance with your wishes, but also to help minimize tax consequences and estate expenses.

The best time to plan your estate is now.

Estate administration includes the probate process as well as non-probate transfers of the deceased's assets.

A proper estate plan must include Powers of Attorney, to deal with issues while you are alive.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf.

If you become unable to make decisions for yourself for one reason or another, and you do not have a Power of Attorney, it can lead to significant expenses, time and hardship for your loved ones. Much like a will, the Power of Attorney can alleviate much doubt and make the process of handling your affairs easier for your loved ones.

One of the main benefits of a Power of Attorney is that it allows your loved ones to avoid costly applications to the Court in order to appoint someone to be in charge of your assets and become guardian of your property.

If the need ever arose to use the Power of Attorney, the savings in terms of time, money and the emotional toll would be substantial. If the need never arises, you are provided with piece of mind.

We can also assist you with the distribution of an Estate after your loved ones death and help you determine whether or not Probate is necessary and if so, we can help you assist you with filing your application for probate.

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