Strategic Advice For Wills, Trusts And Probate

McLellan Herbert, Barristers & Solicitors offers sophisticated estate planning services to clients throughout the Vancouver area, the North Shore, the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. The firm's lawyers are experienced in dealing with problem wills and can draft wills and other documents that implement your intentions.

What Every Estate Plan Should Contain

  • A will: It should go without saying that everybody should have a will; everyone is going to die. The consequence of not having one is losing the power to dispose of your estate as you wish. If you die without a will, the court will appoint an administrator to handle the estate. The Wills, Estates and Succession Act sets forth the manner in which an estate is distributed.
  • A power of attorney: This document allows a person (called an attorney) or persons to handle the financial and legal affairs of another person (called a donor). It does not extend to making decisions regarding personal care or consent to medical treatment (this can be accomplished in British Columbia by making a representation agreement). It may be limited to certain assets or limited in time.
  • A representation agreement: This document allows an adult to choose a person (or persons) to make decisions for him or her regarding health and personal care. You can also specify when it becomes effective, such as upon mental incapability.

What An Estate Plan Might Also Contain

  • A nomination of committee: An instrument an adult can sign that announces to the world who he or she would like the committee to be, should he or she need one.
  • An advance directive: Also known as a living will, this is an instrument that specifies what health care decisions should be made for a person if he or she is incapable of making them.
  • A trust: Trusts structured in various ways can be useful for specific estate planning goals, including avoiding the probate process. Examples include inter vivos trusts (living trusts) such as:
    • Alter ego trusts
    • Joint spousal trusts
    • Disability trusts
    • Insurance trusts
    • Spendthrift trusts

Other planning tools that may be useful in specific circumstances include:

  • Deeds of gift
  • Jointly held assets
  • Beneficiary designations

Schedule A Consultation Today

At McLellan Herbert, Barristers & Solicitors, the Vancouver will and trust preparation lawyers' extensive experience in drafting wills enables them to create a document that implements your intentions.

If you have complicated requirements or a substantial estate, contact the firm online or call 604-901-5186 or 800-449-4858 to set up an initial consultation. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by appointment. Hospital and home visits can be arranged.