Wills And Estates

20+ years preparing wills and power of attorneys

Wills and Estates

For more than 20 years we have been preparing wills and power of attorneys for our clients, and dealing with estate matters. We offer a fixed fee for the preparation of basic wills and power attorneys. For more complicated wills, such as a will that sets up testamentary trusts or other advanced estate planning concepts, the file is billed on a time spent basis. Estates are also billed on time spent basis.

 

Factors that will influence the legal costs associated with the administration of the estate

Is there a will?

Applying for an Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will (formerly known as a “Probate Application”) take less time than applications where there is no will.

How many beneficiaries are named in the will?

Each beneficiary must be served with a copy of the pending Application as well as a copy of the Will that sets out what that beneficiary is entitled to under the terms of the Will.

Is an application for the appointment of an Estate Trustee even necessary?

Depending on the nature of the asset held by the estate, an appointment of an estate trustee may not even be required. We would need to meet with you to review the estate assets to determine this issue.

Additional Factors

  • How much work will be required to comply with the court rules relating to accounting to the beneficiaries for all estate receipts and disbursements?
  • How much work will be required to comply with the court rules relating to accounting to the beneficiaries for all estate receipts and disbursements?

Basic Functions of a Will

To appoint an executor of your estate

This is the person who steps into your shoes and looks after your affairs pending realization and distributions of the assets of your estate to your beneficiaries; to appoint a guardian to look after your minor children; and to set out who you wish to inherit your property.

Ensure Representation

Without a Will you run the risk of no one coming forward to act as your executor or guardian, or multiple persons coming forward with a resulting court fight over who will ultimately be appointed at the expense of your estate. In addition your property will be distributed in accordance with the “intestacy rules”of the Succession Law Reform Act. These rules may have no relation whatsoever with how and to whom you would like your property to be distributed. In addition, if you do not have living relatives as specified by the Rules, your estate will pass to the Government.

A Living Will

You should also have Powers of Attorney over property and personal care in place. The power of attorney over property gives someone the authority to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so but are still alive. Without this document, someone will have to apply to court to obtain this authority. As with all court applications, this can be a costly process. The power of attorney over personal care gives someone to instruct medical professionals as to the medical treatment you wish to be subject to if ;you are unable to instruct them yourself. This document used to be commonly referred to as a “living will”. If you do not have this document in place, your immediate family could be faced with the requirement of obtaining this authority by court order.

A Family Trust

Depending on your circumstances, other estate planning documents might be beneficial such as family trust to reduce your income tax burden, or a marriage contract to protect your assets in the event of a marriage breakdown. However, everyone should have a Will and the two Powers of Attorney. Failing to deal with this issue may turn out to be a very costly mistake that is entirely avoidable.

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