Estate Planning

We create estate plans that are tailored to your personal and financial needs. We understand the legal and tax issues, but also the emotional and complex family dynamics that are often associated with this process. Illness, incapacity and death can be difficult to discuss. We guide you with clarity and compassion – with empathy – throughout your estate planning journey.

FAQ

Estate planning involves anticipating and planning for the transfer of assets (e.g. property and money) when a person dies, as well as a variety of other personal matters. Things to think about on your estate planning journey include:

  • Who will care for you if you become sick or incapacitated?
  • Who will care for your property, (assets and liabilities), if you become sick or incapacitated?
  • Who will care for your children? Your loved ones? What happens to them when you die?
  • How will my dependents with special needs be protected?
  • How should my assets be divided?
  • Who should be responsible (be Executor/Trustee) for my Estate?
  • Wills, trusts and powers of attorney are among the most important documents a person makes in their lifetime. They are the backbone of an estate plan.

An estate is the property that a person owns or has a legal interest in. The term is often used to describe the assets and liabilities left by a person after death.

A Will is a written document that sets out wishes about how an estate should be taken care of and distributed after death. It takes effect when the person dies and has specific legal requirements in order to be valid.

Your Will is the easiest and most effective way to tell others how you want your property and possessions – your estate – to be distributed. Even if you don't have much money or property, it's still a good idea to have a Will so you can name an executor and guardian for your children, to protect your children and make it clear who you want making decisions after you die.

In addition, there are many opportunities for income and probate tax planning that are simply not available to you if you do not have a Will.

The use of multiple Wills is an effective estate planning strategy available to Ontario business owners and professionals to save and, sometimes, completely avoid estate administration tax on death.

Business succession planning is the process of determining how you will transfer your business ownership and make the transition out of the owner/manager role. Whether you no longer want to run your business or you want to sell it to fund your retirement, without a transition plan, your business may suffer. We help implement a succession plan to facilitate the profitable transition of your business.

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

Yes. In Ontario there are different kinds of Power of Attorney:

  • A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (CPOA) covers your financial affairs and allows the person you name to make decisions for you even if you become mentally incapable.
  • A non-continuing Power of Attorney for Property covers your financial affairs but can’t be used if you become mentally incapable. You might give this Power of Attorney, for example, if you need someone to look after your financial transactions while you’re away from home for an extended period of time.
  • A Power of Attorney for Personal Care (POAPC) covers your personal decisions, such as housing and health care by empowering one or more trusted persons to make medical decisions on your behalf in critical circumstances, where you may be unable to provide informed medical consent on your own behalf.

Asks relevant questions to determine what you want out of your estate, then designs a plan that accurately reflect your wishes, all while managing and mitigating taxes and potential family conflict.

A well executed estate plan takes into consideration tax, probate and insurance, as well as family dynamics. It arranges your financial affairs to avoid ambiguity, unnecessary taxes, and litigation. It acts to safeguards your assets so that they will be transfer tax-efficiently to beneficiaries.

Estate planning is complicated for those with property in multiple jurisdictions or with blended families. We have experience dealing with dual domiciles, blended families and assets in multiple locations.

Where a family member has a disability structuring a trust (Henson Trust) allows an individual with a disability to receive income from an inheritance while continuing to receive ODSP benefits. We have experience with disability related estate planning issues, as well as ODSP applications and appeals.

You can make a Will on your own and you do not need to obtain legal advice, but because a Will and other estate planning documents are important legal documents with formal requirements in order to be valid, it is a good idea to have your Will prepared by a lawyer. Using an online “Will kit” can set the stage for a potentially expensive and problematic estate disputes. Saving money on a Will in the short term, will add expense and complexity to your estate in the long run.

We can help you prepare your Will and Power of Attorney documents so that they will be valid under the laws of Ontario, Canada.

Contact us to discuss your case and obtain personalized legal advice relevant to you.

The general information on this page is not applicable to any specific case and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for legal advice and may not be relied on as such. Readers are expressly advised to consult with a qualified lawyer for advice regarding their specific circumstances and entitlements under Ontario law.