Estate Planning – Wills, Power of Attorney and Health Care Representation

The hardest thing about wills and estate planning is the stress of putting it off.

If you own anything, you have an estate. No matter how big or small, simple or complex, your estate has value to you and your loved ones. Plan ahead for peace of mind. At Morelli Chertkow, our wills and estates lawyers will gently guide you through the creation of a personal plan that clearly reflects your wishes — to protect and provide for those you love.

Our skilled and compassionate team will tailor your estate plan to your specific needs and distinct circumstances. Many of our clients require sensitive planning to accommodate unusual situations and we do so by drawing on decades of experience.

We’ll also explore best options to mitigate taxes and costs relating to your estate. And while every plan is unique, there are three key estate planning solutions that should always be considered:

  • Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Health Care Representation Agreement

Our full suite of services also includes:

  • Creating trusts for minor children and adult beneficiaries with disabilities
  • Planning to avoid Probate or minimize Probate fees
  • Appointing Guardians for Minor Children
  • Advanced care planning and appointing representatives for mentally infirm persons
  • Understanding the Wills and Estates and Succession Act (WESA)

To get started, give us a call to make an appointment.

Before we sit down together, take some time to reflect on who and what matters most to you. Make note of all your assets — your home, personal belongings, business interests, investments, bank accounts, insurance policies and sentimental items — to name a few. Think about your family members and the care and protection they would need in your absence. Consider how you hope to plan for them in the long term and how your estate may be part of that plan.

Estate Administration – Probate, Executors and Trustees

People often ask, “What is Probate?” Simply, it is a one-page order of the B.C. Supreme Court, confirming a person’s Will is valid, and therefore the Executor has full authority to deal with Estate business. There is no government rule or law that requires Probate. Probate is required by financial institutions, the Land Title Office, and other organizations. Until the Executor obtains an Order for Probate, they cannot access bank accounts, liquidate investments, sell real estate, or conduct other Estate administration matters.

An Executor’s job is difficult. An Executor is asked to deal with the funeral or memorial, property, taxes, insurance, and other legal and financial business, all at a time when grieving the loss of a loved one. It can be overwhelming, but Executors accept this responsibility to honour the wishes of family and friends.

We can help. We know the process, formalities, obligations, Supreme Court, CRA, and how to overcome the challenges. We can assist Trustees with the ongoing responsibilities after the Order for Probate, including managing trusts and the inheritances of minor children or adult beneficiaries with disabilities. We can help ensure that Executors do not assume any personal risk or expense, and that matters are resolved correctly and without unnecessary delays.

Your Estate is your legacy. It represents your lifetime of keeping close relationships with family and friends, and all your hard work and good decision making. With your needs in mind and our extensive knowledge of Estate Planning and Estate Administration strategies, we can help bring you peace of mind.

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