Wills, Trusts & Estates

The planning and administration of wills, estates, and trusts is an increasingly complex area and a comprehensive estate plan is essential in order to ensure that assets and business interests are protected in the event of death or incapacity.

The members of our Wills, Trusts & Estates Group work closely with our clients and their other professional advisors to develop a customized estate plan and to provide a full range of sophisticated legal and planning advice. Our goal is to help our clients arrange their personal and business affairs in the most efficient and advantageous manner possible.

Focusing on both long-term estate planning requirements as well as ongoing family-related concerns, we advise clients on how to most effectively arrange their affairs to avoid ambiguity, unnecessary probate taxes, and litigation in order to accomplish their personal objectives, while minimizing adverse tax consequences.

Whether it’s as direct as leaving everything to a spouse or requiring a corporate restructuring to allow appropriate succession planning, we guide our clients with skill and practical advice. Our Group offers in-depth advice to individual clients as well as to business owners and their families, companies, trust companies, and charitable and not-for profit organizations on a range of legal issues, including the interpretation and enforceability of wills and trust arrangements, the rights of beneficiaries, the duties of executors and trustees, and mental incapacity issues.

Upon incapacity or death, we represent and advise attorneys, estate trustees, beneficiaries, surviving spouses and other family members. When disputes arise in the administration of an estate, we provide experienced counsel to assist in their resolution.

Where the planning or administration of an estate will benefit from the knowledge and experience in other areas of the law, the members of our Wills, Trusts & Estates Group collaborate with our Real Estate, Business Law, Not-for-Profit & Charities and Family Law lawyers to provide seamless and efficient service, ensuring our clients’ interests are protected and their goals achieved. Furthermore, we have access to accountants and other professionals, as required.

Key service areas provided by members of our Wills, Trusts & Estates Group include:

  • Preparation of wills, powers of attorney, trust agreements, personal contracts and shareholders’ agreements
  • Preparation of dual wills for shares in privately held corporations
  • Advising clients in all aspects of estate, trust, probate, and family and personal planning
  • Advising on all aspects of estate planning and administration
  • Succession planning for owners of independent businesses