An effective estate plan requires a thorough understanding of your values and objectives for your wealth. Once we have worked with you to clarify what these are, our acknowledged leaders in estate planning can develop a well-designed plan to fulfill those values and objectives. The plan we develop with you may include wills, domestic contracts, a succession plan for your business, a charitable giving strategy to fulfill your social capital legacy, powers of attorney and trusts. We will work independently or with your other advisers to develop an integrated estate plan which meets your values and objectives, while minimizing the impact of income taxes and probate fees.
Our services also include assisting with the administration of the estate or trust including advising executors and trustees and, in many cases, acting as their agents in the day-to-day administration of the estate. We can also attend to fiduciary accounting, gathering information on the assets and liabilities of an estate, applying for grants of probate or letters of administration, making all necessary filings with the Canada Revenue Agency and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
The multi-jurisdictional property interests of our clients often require the development of a co-ordinated plan to leverage differing legal and tax regimes. Through our international offices and the reputation of individual members of our group, we have access to experts in other jurisdictions who can assist in this regard.
Our experience includes the following:
Members of our group belong to professional bodies such as the Estate Planning Council (EPC), Family Firm Institute (FFI), the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Canadian Association of Family Enterprises (CAFE), Academy of Trusts and Estates (ACTEC), the International Academy of Trusts and Estates Lawyers, the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). When your estate planning requires additional expertise, we are able to partner with the firm's specialists in taxation, insurance and business law and can also assist in resolving estate-related disputes through litigation or mediation see Estate Litigation).