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Theresa Arsenault, Q.C.*

One of the most experienced and highly respected lawyers in the Okanagan Valley, Theresa Arsenault, Q.C., specializes in estate planning and trusts, First Nations transactions and land development, and business and real estate law. She is frequently sought out as a speaker on all these topics and more.

High net-worth individuals often face complex estate planning challenges created by the size of the estate, second or more marriages, or the desire to generate tax savings through trusts. For many years, these clients have relied on Theresa, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Planners, to overcome these challenges through tools like spousal or discretionary testamentary trusts, multiple wills, alter ego and joint partner trusts, estate freezes, and discretionary family trusts.

Developers on First Nations and Crown land, including First Nations bands themselves, need expert legal guidance when developing master planned resort or residential communities and mixed-use commercial and residential developments on all types of lands. Lenders need advice on how to structure and securitize loans and acquire security on all types of lands. Corporations and limited partnerships, both local and international, retain Theresa’s services to accomplish all these goals.

Theresa also provides a range of legal services to a number of specialized clients. She helps ski resorts with unique legal needs related to the purchase and sale of properties, the negotiation of development agreements with the province, the settlement of Crown land issues, and issues involving contracts and real estate development. She incorporates and drafts operating and partnership agreements for doctors, dentists and other professionals, allowing them to use a family trust to split income.

Theresa has lived and practiced law in Kelowna for 27 years, building an extraordinary record of commitment and activity within the community. She currently serves as a Governor and Vice-Chair of the University of British Columbia and Co-Chair of UBCO’s External Community Advisory Committee. She is Co-Chair of the Okanagan Partnership and a Director of the Canada West Foundation. In addition, Theresa is a member of Kelowna’s Chamber of Commerce and the Kelowna Estate Planning Council, and has previously served on the boards of the United Way, the KGH Foundation, the B.C. Cancer Agency, and the Okanagan University College.

Away from the office, Theresa enjoys local art, travel, wine, and food — not necessarily in that order. To balance these activities, she keeps fit with Pilates, running, cycling, dancing, and skiing. She prioritizes her family and friends and seeks to make a positive difference in the world through enhanced access to education.

*Providing services through a law corporation.

Practice Focus: 
Negotiating and advising on complex commercial contracts.
Preparing and advising on commercial lending and finance matters.
Counsel for residential and commercial developers.
First Nations financing, leasing and property transactions.
Estate Planning - Advising and preparing Wills, Representation Agreements and Discretionary Trusts.
Estate Probate and Administration.
Ski Resort Development and Acquisition.
Education: 
LL.B – University of British Columbia
B.A. – University of British Columbia
Professional and Community Activities: 
UBC Board of Governors, Governor
Okanagan Partnership, Co-chair
Okanagan University College, Past Governor & Vice Chair
Estate Planning Council of Kelowna, Member
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Member
UBCO President’s Advisory Council, Member
United Way Leadership Campaign, Past Chair
Friends of Okanagan College Committee, Past Chair
Friends of the Cancer Clinic, Past Chair
Central Okanagan United Way, Past President
Board of British Columbia Cancer Agency, Past Trustee
Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, Past Vice President
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce (Economic Development), Past Vice-President
Society of Trust and Estate Practicioners, Member
Estate Planning Council
Canada West Foundation, Director
Publications: 
CLE Annual Review of Law (1999, 2000) on Wills, Estates and Trusts
CLE Development on First Nations Lands (April 2000)
CLE Law Firm Management, Chapter on Structures for Small and Medium Firms (updated 1999)