Wills and Estate Planning
Langley and Surrey Wills and Estate Planning Lawyers
The lawyers at Taylor & Taylor Law assist clients in Langley, Surrey and the BC Lower Mainland by drafting wills, powers of attorney, representation agreements and other estate planning documents for clients with varied financial and personal circumstances.
Benefits of estate planning
Planning your estate in advance of incapacity or death can ensure your affairs and family are taken care of, and your wishes carried out, should unfortunate circumstances occur. Without the proper planning documents in place, important considerations such as who will inherit your assets, who will manage your personal health care and financial affairs if you lose capacity, and who may become the legal guardian of your children, can be decided very differently than how you may have wanted.
A will is the most common estate planning document. This is a document that deals with your assets and affairs if you die. Some benefits of having a will are:
- Choosing who will inherit your assets;
- Nominating someone you trust as your executor to manage your estate;
- Creating testamentary trusts for children, disabled beneficiaries and pets;
- Nominating a guardian for your minor children;
- Leaving specific gifts to beneficiaries;
- Establishing charitable gifts;
- Succession planning for corporate interests; and
- Avoiding legislation that dictates who inherits if you die without a will.
What other documents are available?
Each person has different estate planning requirements depending on their situation. In addition to a will, most individuals can benefit from one or more of the following estate planning documents:
enduring power of attorney: appoints someone to manage your financial affairs if you lose capacity.
representation agreement: appoints someone to manage your personal and health care if you lose capacity.
advance directive: provides instructions to give or refuse health care.
nomination of committee: nominates someone to manage your personal and financial affairs if you lose capacity and the matter comes before a court. This document may be used if your power of attorney or representation agreement are challenged, or if someone applies in court to be appointed to manage your personal and/or financial affairs.
trust: A trust is not a separate legal entity, but instead a relationship where property is legally owned by one party for the benefit of another. Certain circumstances may require a trust to achieve the desired planning outcome. In particular, estate planning for blended families, family law matters, disabled children, specific funds for individuals and pets, charitable giving and unequal distribution of assets to children may require more specific planning through the creation of a trust either within or outside the will.
If you have questions about what estate plan is appropriate for you and your family, or regarding the documents listed above, you may wish to contact an estate planning lawyer to discuss.