It is important to engage in estate planning to minimize the cost and delay in seeing your affairs resolved in the event of your death. There are many ways of structuring your estate to ensure your last wishes are carried out in a way that is economic and timely. Your will is likely the only document you will prepare that involves your entire economic well being and how it is to be distributed amongst your family and friends. It is important that your will is done correctly to avoid being challenged. The wills and estate lawyers at Johns Southward have drawn thousands of wills over the years and are well positioned to assist you in avoiding the pitfalls that surround a poorly planned estate.
Probate and administration of an estate are complicated processes. A trustee or executor takes on many legal responsibilities when accepting this role, including the gathering of assets, preparing the documentation for court, and distributing gifts and bequests to beneficiaries of the estate. Our lawyers are routinely involved in every aspect of winding up a deceased’s affairs and can provide you with the benefit of their practical experience in navigating this challenging experience.
It is important to be clear about your wishes for your future at that time when you are least able to express them. Powers of Attorney, Representation Agreements and Living Wills provide the authority and direction for those whom you have trust and confidence in to make those decisions you are no longer able to make for yourself. These documents can provide you with the comfort and peace of mind in knowing that your person and your estate will be managed as you would desire. They also give direction to those whom you appoint, providing confidence that they are caring out your wishes. With our aging population, these legal directions are becoming increasingly important and must be properly drafted after all appropriate considerations have been taken into account. The lawyers at Johns Southward specializing in this area have the knowledge and experience to identify and assist you in addressing the complexities and considerations associated with these arrangements.
Succession planning for a family business can be very complicated involving tax implications, obligations to dependants and practical considerations related to your family dynamic. It requires discipline and will likely require you to make difficult decisions. Our lawyers can assist you in identifying the issues and the considerations that you will need to keep in mind. We can also assist you in promoting and focusing the discussions that you and your family will need to have to ensure a smooth transition in the day-to-day operations of your business from one generation to the next. (See also our Wills and Estate Planning section for more information.)
Life has been good to you, and you feel an obligation to give something back to the community. There is no better way than leaving a legacy or bequest to your favourite charity or group in need. There may be tax benefits in doing so for you and your estate. However, it is important that your gift is considered in the context of your overall estate planning as the law may impose other obligations on you. Our legal team can assist you through this process to ensure your wishes and legacy remain intact.