Services: Estates

I am struggling with an estate dispute

Estate Planning  – the Asset of Experience

Your assets are your estate. Your estate may be worth $500 or $5 million, but it’s still an estate. And it still matters.

Estate law covers two main activities: estate planning and estate disputes. Both areas are changing rapidly as our population ages and our families are extended. Estate law is our main focus. We’re up-to-date on the latest developments, enabling us to give you informed advice in an efficient manner.

How long has it taken you to build your assets? A lifetime. A lifetime’s worth of assets is valuable. It is important to spend time deciding how you would like to distribute them. First, beneficiaries will have the maximum benefit possible from their inheritance. Second, you have the say as to who gets what.

A neutral party, such as a lawyer, can help you make decisions. Estate planning requires considering some major issues.

For example, you want beneficiaries to receive as much of your estate as possible, which means reducing or deferring taxes. You’re probably familiar with components involved in this such as RRSPs, spousal rollovers, pensions, planned giving to charities, as well as trusts.

The significance of planning lies in the handling of concepts (including those above) in a way that best fits your personal situation. If, for example, you are planning a subsequent marriage, or planning to retire from the family business which is now being run by your children, or if you want to gift an asset to children while you are still alive, there are tax issues, there are corporate issues, spousal issues, and so on to consider.

No one personal situation is the same, so all of the issues have to be discussed, considered and concluded. There’s more. In Canada, there are deemed dispositions of certain assets upon the owner’s death. In your situation, capital property assets (such as stocks and revenue property) may be deemed to have been disposed of on death.

Once again, we can help you address this significant issue, consider the options and find creative solutions.

Consider the following questions, then call us to help you plan your estate:

  • Do you have children under the age of 19? Who would take care of them should something happen to you? How do you want them to be cared for and educated?
  • Will your surviving spouse need a larger portion of the estate than your children?
  • If you don’t have a spouse, who will inherit your estate?
  • Have you thought about disinheriting someone?
  • Have you properly identified the personal effects (heirlooms, antiques, jewellery, boats, etc.) that will be inherited?
  • Do you have a family business?
  • What are your beneficiaries really expecting from your estate?

Related resources