Wills & Estate Planning
How we can Help
We advise individuals in estate planning, and prepare documents such as wills, powers of attorney and trusts.
Wills & Estate Planning
Wills and Personal Planning
There are are several personal planning options available in British Columbia to help ensure that your wishes are known and respected should unfortunate circumstances arise, such as death or mental incapacity.
Estate planning is always specific to particular circumstances. Your personalized estate plan could include one or more estate planning documents, for example: a will, power of attorney, representation agreement, nomination of committee, advance directive. In some cases a trust may be advisable, such as an alter ego trust, joint spousal trust, or other inter vivos trust.
Unique circumstances may arise, including: children with disabilities, blended families, divorce or separation, and holding funds in trust for a beneficiary on certain conditions. Each of these circumstances can benefit from special planning and consideration by your lawyer to ensure your wishes are properly (and legally) expressed.
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. Trusts can be set up as either inter vivos trusts (during life) or testamentary trusts (after death). Sometimes trusts are recommended as part of a tax planning strategy determined by your accountant. They can also serve several specified legal purposes.
Trusts are an important planning tool used for estate planning, particularly when your estate involves blended families, family law matters or disabled children.
Trusts can also be drafted to set up specific funds for individuals or charities, both during your life or after your death, or used to modify the distribution of assets to beneficiaries outside of your will. Certain trusts (such as alter ego trusts) can be created as part of a plan to reduce probate fees to your estate as part of estate administration, or to otherwise deal with assets outside the estate process.
Depending on your financial and legal circumstances, your lawyer or accountant may recommend the use of one or more trusts. We are always happy to discuss whether trusts would be beneficial to your estate plan.
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