Estate planning encompasses many different areas and can become complicated very quickly. What we can do is step back, look at the big picture, and suggest changes to help make the process simpler. If your needs exceed our expertise, we can refer you to other professionals to assist with designing the best possible plan.
Our Estate Services
  • Estate Reviews
  • Executor Services
  • Probate

Estate Reviews

Reviewing your estate is an important process to undertake from time to time, especially as you age. It involves reviewing your existing documents, such as Wills, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Directives, Insurance plans, and beneficial appointments in your RRSPs, RRIFs, and TFSAs. It also includes a review of your financial assets, Titles to your properties, inheritance plans, trust agreements, and your personal banking needs. We can discuss topics such as exploring “Joint Tenancy” and whether your estate will need to be probated. From there, we can set out a plan and make any changes required.
Some Common Estate Issues
  • Do you have an up-to-date Will?
  • What will be the effect of the Probate process on your estate?
  • What is the current Tax position of your estate?
  • Are your bank accounts joint? If so, with whom?
  • Is your Executor up to the job?
  • Have you named beneficiaries on your RRIFs, RRSPs, or TFSAs?

Executor Services

Your Executor (Personal Representative)
You must appoint an Executor in your Will to look after your affairs when you die. Make sure that you choose the right person for the job. It is also important to appoint a secondary Executor in case your first choice is unable to perform the necessary duties. We can help Executors by explaining the process and identifing what needs to happen and when.
Responsibilities of the Executor
  • Making funeral arrangements
  • Locating the Will
  • Applying for death certificates
  • Paying remaining debts
  • Selling any assets
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries
Traits of a Good Executor
  • Good health
  • Patience
  • Diplomatic skills
  • Ability to deal with bureaucracy and paperwork
For more information on the process of settling your estate, check out Ten Steps to Settling an Estate
Acting as an Executor (When asked by someone else)
So, you have been appointed as someone’s Executor. Yes, it is an honour, but it can also feel like a burden. Before saying yes or taking action as an Executor, take a dive into the material available to get an understanding of what this might mean for you. We can talk you through the many activities required, the possible issues involved, and your legal responsibilities in this role. For further assistance, Download the Executor Tips Checklist
It is important to understand what Probate is, what the costs associated are, and, of course, how long Probate will take. Probate is the legal process of “reading the Will”. It is a court order that certifies that the Will is legal and valid, and that the person named as the Executor can now deal freely with all the estate issues and assets. They can now deal with banks and other financial institutions, as well as with pension services and any government agencies required. For example, they can now handle tax return filings and communications with Canada Revenue Services (CRA).

The first thing to find out is if Probate is required at all. This depends on the types of assets within the estate and the values of those assets. Then, you should review the process. Our office can explain the process, the costs, the steps, and the time frame.
To learn more about probate, check out this information on Probating the Will.
For more information on estate matters, contact our office.
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