Estate Planning

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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:

  • Assisting clients with marriage contracts and family law planning;
  • Advising on the use of trusts and powers of attorney to protect clients' assets and ensure safeguarding of those assets and care of clients in the event of long term illness or incapacity;
  • Using tax-planned trusts and wills to accomplish one's primary personal and financial objectives while minimizing tax consequences;
  • Advising on trust variations and migrations;
  • Planning to effectively reduce probate taxes within the framework of the will or estate plan;
  • Developing and facilitating succession plans to transfer family business between generations;
  • Cross-border will and trust planning for clients who are U.S. citizens or dual residents of Canada and the United States or Canadians who own U.S. situs property;
  • Assisting new immigrants to Canada to establish trusts to take advantage of the five-year Canadian tax holiday;
  • Advise individuals in planning for emigration from Canada;
  • Advising on the appropriate use of insurance;
  • Advising on and implementing sophisticated estate freezing and income splitting schemes;
  • Assisting executors and trustees with estate and trust administration, and executors' and trustees' accounts;
  • Planning to deal with the succession of recreational properties (within and outside Canada) for both Canadian residents and non-residents and minimizing taxes with respect to such succession.

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).

Our Expertise

Primary Contacts

+1 416 865 4388
+1 604 631 4982
+1 403 261 5358
+1 416 865 4356
+1 416 865 4549
+1 514 397 5123