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Wills, Estates and Trusts

Ensuring a smooth transition of assets and care for your loved ones.

Everyone should have an estate plan in place to ensure a smooth transition of their assets and care for their loved ones. We understand this process can be emotional and is unique for each individual and we know what needs to be done to ensure that your wishes are upheld and your loved ones are protected.

Our estate planning services cover everything from the creation of your plan to the eventual administration of your estate. While we draft wills for hundreds of clients annually, a comprehensive estate plan is much more than a will – the right plan minimizes taxes and probate fees and represents your wishes both before and after you die.

Our lawyers are adept at understanding your wishes and advising on the best way of proceeding. We know the questions to ask to put the right plan in place for your estate including the following:

  • Wills – Making a will is important to ensure that your wishes are carried out by law. If you die without a will, the government distributes your estate according to provincial law.
  • Powers of Attorney – This is protection for you in the event that you become unable to make important legal and financial decisions while you are alive.
  • Representation Agreements – This is your appointment of a trusted person to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to because of mental or physical disability.
  • Trusts – These are established to preserve assets for a specific purpose such as educating children or caring for someone with special needs or for tax planning purposes. Trusts are created in a way that is tax effective and that ensure funds are protected for the intended purpose.
  • Tax Planning – We assist clients with strategies for wealth transfer and business succession to ensure that the plan that is put in place minimizes the tax impact.
  • Business Owners – We work closely with owners of businesses of all sizes to develop tax effective succession plans that meet their objectives.
  • Planned Giving – Clients often include a charitable aspect to their estate plan. We help by ensuring that the format achieves the clients’ personal and tax objectives.

We also collaborate with accountants and financial advisors to ensure a strategy is put in place that is optimal for you and that hopefully avoids family conflicts. When there are legal challenges we have the necessary experience to advocate for our clients through the difficult times.

We can assist you. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers for more information or a confidential consultation.

Practice Members

Testimonials

Kris Johnstone

Vanessa recently helped my wife and I with the purchase of our new (to us) house as well as estate planning (wills). We have used Vanessa in the past and she has always been friendly, professional and expeditious. We had a very quick close on our new house (three weeks) and Vanessa made sure everything went smoothly. She was also able to do our estate planning in the same time frame so we could do all of the signing etc. for the house and wills on the same visit! Everything went perfectly. I would not hesitate to use Vanessa's services again and highly recommend her to all of my friends and family.

Efaf Facinek

In 2012 my brother was diagnosis with cancer; he became seriously ill very fast. The prognosis shattered our very close family. Days before he passed he wanted to see a local lawyer to review his Will and make sure all was in order. I knew time was not on his side. I immediately thought of Joni Metherell. Joni has been my go-to lawyer for all my employment law needs for over 15 years and she was always very comprehensive and knowledgeable. I called Joni on the Friday night of the July long weekend and asked her to come to the hospital. Although she had a home full of visiting family members, Joni left them to come help my family. She was helpful, compassionate, and even though she did not know my brother, her genuine care was obvious. My family will forever be thankful to Joni for giving my brother peace of mind in his final days. On the July long weekend in 2012, Joni was our Earth Angel.