The practice area of Wills & Estates generally includes one or more of the following:
Planning for the distribution of your assets to loved ones through a Will, Trust Agreement, or Gift
Ensuring that people whom you trust can make important financial, legal and healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so because of mental incapacity
Assisting the Executor to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Court and the distribution of a loved one’s assets in accordance with his / her wishes
Distributing the deceased’s assets in accordance with intestacy laws if there was no valid Will
Assisting with legal disputes related to estate matters, such as:
whether a Will is valid;
disputes about which of the deceased’s assets form part of his / her estate; and
whether the terms of a Will should be varied
You work hard your whole life to accumulate assets and wealth for the benefit of yourself, your family, perhaps other loved ones, or even strangers through charitable gifts or foundations. It is important to ensure that this accumulation of wealth will be distributed in accordance with your wishes, and in a manner that is the most advantageous from a tax perspective. A properly constructed estate plan will achieve this objective.
A proper estate plan also contemplates the possibility that you may become unable to manage your own financial, legal, or healthcare decisions one day. People whom you trust the most can be granted the authority to make these important decisions on your behalf.
Estate Administration refers to the distribution of a deceased’s assets upon his / her death. In most cases, application to the Court for an estate grant will be required before an executor or other representative of the deceased will be able to distribute the assets in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. The specific type of grant sought by the Court will depend on whether the deceased had a valid Will in place at the time of his / her death, and whether the named executor in the Will is willing and able to assume the duties of an executor.
The duties required of the person who seeks to administer a loved one’s estate can be extremely complex and stressful, and he/she may be held personally liable to beneficiaries or creditors if mistakes are made.
The Wills & Estates lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP can assist the executor or other personal representative to ensure that his / her duties are performed correctly, efficiently, and without exposure to personal liability. Call us at 604-852-5100 or google www.bronsonco.com to see how we can help.
Disputes often arise over the terms of a deceased’s Will. The most common disputes occur when a spouse or child is left out of the Will, or when a child receives a smaller share of the estate than other siblings. Other common disputes include disagreements over what assets form part of the estate and whether the Will-maker was unduly influenced, thus bringing into question whether the terms of the Will reflect his or her true intentions. These disputes are often extremely emotional, pitting family members against each other.
If you are a beneficiary who wishes to preserve the terms of a Will or a spouse or child who feels that you did not receive a proper share, the estate litigation lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP can help.