WILLS & ESTATE PLANNING
LAST WILL & TESTAMENT
The latest consumer statistics predict that only 33% of the population has a valid Last Will and Testament. And, for those that do, many of them are improperly prepared or sorely out of date.
Having a properly prepared Will is the best means to ensure you leave a clean, cost effective, harmonious administration of your estate – certainly one of the most important legacies you can leave your family. To assist in this process, Elite Counsel will help you prepare a plan tailored to meet the unique challenges that exist in your estate. Start now by filling out the form below to gain access to our Will Planning Checklist, or give us a call to arrange a complimentary, no obligation consultation.
Personal Directive and Power of Attorney
1,100,000 Canadians are directly or indirectly affected by dementia.
– Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2016.
If you are one of the 1.1 Million Canadians caring for a loved one suffering from this terrible disease, you know how hard managing routine, daily activities can become. Obtaining information from governmental agencies, paying routine bills and managing assets such as the sale of property, are all met with added delay and difficulty - unless you have a thoughtful, thoroughly prepared Personal Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney. Don’t get caught unprepared! Ensure your family is armed with the power they need to step in and manage your personal affairs and finances if you lose capacity to do so on your own. If you would like a checklist to get started, please fill out the form below.
Trusts are often the most misunderstood and under-utilized tools available to create an effective estate plan. Clients are often intimidated by the use of a trust, thinking them to be too complex and too costly to set up and administer. The fact could not be further from the truth!
A trust is simply a relationship set up between a person to hold the legal title to an asset (the Trustee); to manage it for the benefit of someone else (the Beneficiary). A good example of a very common type of trust is one that is set up in your Will to manage monies left to beneficiaries who may be too young or too inexperienced to manage an inheritance on their own. Rather than giving money to beneficiaries to handle as they see fit (including control of funds when they turn 18 years of age), you can appoint a Trustee to assist with governance of the inheritance. You can outline specific rules to govern the situation, or provide discretion to the Trustee to make decisions as future events unfold.
Family Trust and Estate Freezes
In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.
– Benjamin Franklin, 1789.
If you have a more complex estate (US assets, a family business or revenue property) then you may need planning that goes beyond the traditional Will. In these situations, a family trust or an estate freeze can be used to ensure a harmonious transition of your estate while minimizing the sting of taxes due at the date of your death.
Let us show you how a properly designed trust can be used to provide protection against claims by creditors (including loss through separation or divorce), avoidance of probate and management of your assets for the long term benefit of your beneficiaries.
Probate and Administration of Estates
They say you don’t really know a person until you share an inheritance with them.
People process loss in very different ways. Some people become paralyzed and find it very difficult to handle the most basic of estate administration tasks. Others start working on the administration immediately and need to see it to completion to achieve full closure. In either case, feelings of frustration and loss can be exacerbated by family conflict, technical processes and time delays that are inherent in a formal application for administration.
We have seen families that get along very well reach levels of conflict that tear relationships apart. But it doesn’t have to be so. Hiring a professional that is experienced in estate administration can put all parties at ease that the administration will be handled effectively and efficiently. At Elite Counsel, we will advise you of the steps required to complete the administration of your estate - and we can be as involved as you need us to be to reach that goal. With the right guidance (and polite reminders!), many executors are capable of completing the administration without too much time or trouble. Other executors prefer to govern the administration from the sidelines, retaining a professional to complete the necessary steps.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty handling the administration of an estate, give us a call for an initial, no obligation, complimentary consultation. We are confident that we can get you back on the right path to finalizing your estate.
Our legal team is experienced in the creation of domestic contracts designed to provide protection against loss of your estate through separation or divorce. Whether the intent is to provide protection against loss in your own estate, or the potential loss of your inheritance through the separation or divorce of your children, a properly prepared domestic contract is often the most effective method of protection.
Not only does Calgary boast the second largest number of corporate head offices in the Country, our residents are known for their entrepreneurial spirit. Setting up a new business can be intimidating, but is an effective method of providing income splitting and protection against creditors. An effective estate plan for any entrepreneur must examine the benefits to setting up a corporation.
Real estate is the largest single investment in most peoples’ estates. Protecting it with a properly designed estate plan becomes of critical importance. Not only do we offer services necessary to complete the purchase or sale of residential real estate transactions in Alberta, we can begin a discussion on how to hold your real estate assets to provide the best protection against loss, payment of undue tax and avoidance of probate. To find out more about our services, click the link below.