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Planning for the Future

Most of us don’t like to think about the realities of the future, like aging and dying. One of the best ways to deal with those realities is to put a plan in place now. A well-thought-out plan allows you to put your mind at ease. It will enable the people whom you trust to take care of you when you are older, and handle your affairs when the time comes.

Whether you are considering your own Will and estate plan or handling the estate of someone who has died, we are here to help you.

No one wants to think about death. But would your family or loved ones know what your wishes are, or know what to do with your estate, should the worst happen? When Wills are not prepared with care, attention, and understanding, the end result can be a plan that does not unfold as expected. The executor may struggle to fulfill the deceased’s wishes, and loved ones may end up confused or hurt. While it may feel uncomfortable, planning ahead shows that we care about what happens to our loved ones when we’re gone.

Life is not two-dimensional, and neither is your Will

Preparing a Will should not be a fill-in-the-blank endeavour. It needs to be customized to your life and your goals. So that we can help you plan thoroughly, we strive to understand:

  • Your family dynamics, whether things are straightforward or complex (such as having a blended family, a child with a lifelong disability, or complicated family relationships)
  • Your assets and how they are structured, whether you have property, a business, or assets in another country
  • Your wishes and who it is you want to leave your estate to, whether it is family, friends or charity
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We know that planning for your family’s future can be a personal and emotional experience. We are here to listen to you and figure it out together.

We Can Help With…

Preparing a Will & Estate Plan

  • Understanding your legal obligations when preparing a Will
  • Deciding on your executor and, if you have minor children, choosing their guardians
  • Deciding how to distribute your personal possessions and assets
  • Advising on specific gifts to family, friends, or charity
  • Advising on trusts in your Will for your children, adults, or charity
  • Restructuring ownership of your assets to align with your wishes
  • Structuring your Will to provide your executor with seamless administration
  • Structuring your Will and estate plan to help reduce probate fees and taxes
  • Structuring your Will and estate plan to help avoid challenges to your Will after death

Let’s Plan

Setting Up Trusts

  • Establishing “living” trusts to benefit your children or future generations
  • Advising on the distribution of assets between your Will and your trust
  • Advising you on the best type of trust for you and your family
  • Ensuring your trustee has the authority and powers needed to effectively administer your trust
  • Ensuring your trust works with your overall estate plan

Let’s Plan

Changing Ownership of Property

  • Advising on the pros and cons of changing the ownership of your property and how it affects your overall estate plan
  • Preparing the documents required to change ownership

Let’s Plan

Planning for the future doesn’t just involve preparing a Will. In cases of illness, accident, or disability, you may unexpectedly or eventually lose the mental or physical capacity to handle your own financial affairs and health care matters. You will need to rely on someone you trust to make these financial and personal decisions for you.

You may be wanting to appoint someone you can trust to help you when you need it most. Or, you may be trying to help someone you care about get their affairs in order. Either way, we can help you take the next steps.

A plan empowers swift decision making

No one wants to think about the possibility of losing their mental capacity. But would your family know what decisions to make regarding your finances, health, and personal care should the worst happen? Without proper planning, your loved ones could be left facing a stressful situation and potentially have to go to court to be granted legal authority to handle your affairs — a long and expensive process. While it may feel uncomfortable, or even too far away to think about, planning ahead allows you to relax, knowing you have empowered someone you trust to take care of you if you need their help.

We Can Help With…

Preparing a Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint those you trust (called your attorney) to manage your financial and legal affairs if you are not able.

We can help you by:

  • Helping you decide under what circumstances your attorneys may act
  • Advising on options for activating your Power of Attorney
  • Structuring your Power of Attorney to ensure your attorneys are able to deal with your investments, property, business, family obligations, or charitable activities

Let’s Plan

Preparing a Representation Agreement

A Representation Agreement allows you to appoint those you trust (called your representative) to manage your health and personal care decisions if you are not able.

We can help you by:

  • Ensuring your wishes regarding your health and personal care are clearly set out
  • Helping you decide under what circumstances your representatives may act
  • Advising you on options for activating your Representation Agreement
  • Advising you on health care options that you may wish to give to your representative
  • Structuring your Representation Agreement to ensure your representatives are able to make the health and personal care decisions you want them to be able to make on your behalf

Let’s Plan

Preparing a Lesser Capacity Representation Agreement

If you are trying to help someone who already has reduced capacity due to disability, diminished health, or disease (such as dementia), we may be able to help with a Lesser Capacity Representation Agreement.

This type of Representation Agreement:

  • Includes the authority for health care with some limitations
  • Does not authorize a representative to have the final say to refuse life supporting health care
  • Allows a representative to take care of routine financial matters, with certain exceptions such as dealing with real estate

Let’s Plan

Losing someone is difficult. In addition to grieving the loss of that person, you may have been named as the executor of the estate. Even more challenging if there is no Will. What do you do now?

Dealing with the estate of someone who has died can feel impossible and overwhelming – leaving you with more questions than answers on what to do next and how to navigate the process. Having support from a legal advisor allows you to focus your energy on what matters most and move forward with peace of mind.

No matter what, we are here for you

Allow us to do a small part in supporting you during this stressful time by helping you through the process of estate administration. Dealing with an estate is almost never as straightforward as it was intended to be. Even if you have dealt with an estate before, every situation is different and requires careful attention. From the initial probate process to the distribution of assets – let us help you to take care of it.

We Can Help With…

Estate Administration With a Will

Where there is a Will, we can help you with:

  • Understanding what you need to do as the executor of a Will or administrator of an estate
  • Understanding how to protect yourself from liability
  • Guiding you through the process of obtaining court validation of the Will (this is called a grant of probate)
  • Dealing with an estate that is insolvent
  • Dealing with a Will where the executor is unable to act or is missing
  • Dealing with a Will with deceased beneficiaries
  • Dealing with the Public Guardian and Trustee when there are minors or incompetent beneficiaries
  • Administering more complicated assets such as a business, property, or foreign assets
  • Dealing with an estate for a person who has died out-of-province or out-of-country
  • Dealing with financial institutions, creditors, or pension providers
  • Distributing the estate to the beneficiaries
  • Ensuring you have taken all the necessary steps to wrap up the estate

Let’s Plan

Estate Administration Without a Will

If there isn’t a Will, then the laws regarding an “intestate” estate apply. We can help you with:

  • Understanding what you need to do as the administrator of an estate when there is no will
  • Assisting you with obtaining the legal authority to administer the estate (this is called a grant of administration)
  • Helping you determine who is entitled to the estate and how the estate must be distributed
  • Understanding how to protect yourself from liability
  • Dealing with an intestate estate that is insolvent
  • Dealing with the Public Guardian and Trustee when there are minors or incompetent beneficiaries
  • Administering more complicated assets such as a business, property, or foreign assets
  • Dealing with an intestate estate for a person who has died out-of-province or out-of-country
  • Dealing with financial institutions, creditors, or pension providers
  • Distributing the intestate estate to the beneficiaries
  • Ensuring you have taken all the necessary steps to wrap up the intestate estate”

Let’s Plan

Complicated Estates

You may be dealing with a more complex situation such as:

  • A lost Will
  • A ‘homemade’ Will
  • A copy of a Will only
  • A Will that has been handwritten on
  • A Will that is missing pages

These types of situations typically require very specific legal steps in order to deal with the estate and the probate court.

Let’s Plan

Real estate may be one of the most important things that you ever own. We understand that the decision to buy or sell is more than just a financial transaction – it’s a big deal! While your realtor and mortgage advisor will do their part, there’s great value in getting legal advice for any agreement before you sign it. We want you to feel confident with the transaction and eliminate potential surprises.

We Can Help With…

  • Reviewing a Contract of Purchase and Sale before it is signed
  • Understanding your obligations as an owner (i.e. insurance risk)
  • Understanding any charges or encumbrances on the title of the property (i.e. ensuring all debts are paid and conditions are dissolved, or organizing the transfer of liability)
  • Understanding the terms and conditions of your mortgage
  • Facilitating the purchase and sale transaction
  • Advising on what type of ownership makes the most sense for you

Let’s Talk

Your Law for Life Team

Gregory J. Greiner

Gregory J. Greiner

LAWYER & FOUNDER

Lesley Russell

Lesley Russell

Lawyer

Kelly Banah

Kelly Banah

Estates Portfolio Manager

Stefano Beninteso

Stefano Beninteso

Lawyer

Gregory J. Greiner

Gregory J. Greiner

LAWYER & FOUNDER

Lesley Russell

Lesley Russell

Lawyer

Kelly Banah

Kelly Banah

Estates Portfolio Manager

Stefano Beninteso

Stefano Beninteso

Lawyer

Have questions about how we can help you?