With the aging population and transfer of significant wealth between generations, asset, estate and trust disputes, including those involving family corporations, can arise both before and after the death of the transferor. These disputes are complex areas of estate law, often complicated by emotions, family dynamics and feelings of grief. Our lawyers are highly experienced with all aspects of these disputes.
We assist our clients with a wide range of disputes before death, including claims respecting the use of powers of attorney, validity of trust planning, validity of powers of attorney, joint tenancy and co-tenancy transfers, validity of beneficiary designations and loss of capacity issues. Problems often arise when people decline in mental capacity and become vulnerable to the influence of others and are no longer capable of making sound judgements for themselves and their assets. We can assist them in recovering assets for them if they have been financially abused.
We also assist our clients with a wide range of disputes after death. We assist beneficiaries or intestate heirs with variations to wills or dependants’ relief claims and challenges to wills and trusts. We further assist beneficiaries in dealing with problem executors or trustees to ensure that there is no breach of trust, improper management of assets or inappropriate taking of benefits.
Further, our estate lawyers advise and represent executors, administrators and trustees in contentious matters arising from their administration of an estate or a trust, including: obtaining court interpretation and determination of the validity of legal instruments, obtaining the advice and direction of the court, determining rightful heirs to an estate, making required accounting to the beneficiaries and providing representation in account passings, including in disputes concerning fair compensation for the executor/trustee; and recovering assets for the estate or trust.
As a leading full-service international law firm, we have the expertise, connections and resources to deal with asset, trust disputes and estate laws that involve clients, assets and beneficiaries located in different provinces and different countries. We have the skills and experience to advise and assist with the most complex asset, trust and estate matters, including those involving family offices.