Wills and Estate Administration
If you were to die without a will, the Wills and Succession Act would govern to whom your estate was distributed and the Estate Administration Act would dictate who was entitled to be the administrator(s) of your estate. Generally speaking, the more complicated your family and business affairs are, the less satisfied you would be with the determinations made by the legislation. A will allows you the freedom of choice. A properly drafted will also give broad powers to your executor to carry out your wishes without going to court to seek approval.
Murphy Law will carefully canvass with you your property and financial affairs as well as your family dynamics, and any charitable objectives you may have. If you are in a new marriage or adult interdependent partnership and have children from a prior relationship, it may be necessary for your spouse or partner to obtain independent legal advice as you may not have interests in common. If you own a business or farm or recreational land, she will discuss succession planning with you. In the end, she will draft a will that reflects your wishes and your goals and that will ultimately streamline the administration of your estate and reduce the risk of estate litigation. Cohabitation agreements and unanimous shareholders agreements can be important components of a well-planned estate. Murphy Law has the expertise to also advise and draft these documents.
If you are the executor or next of kin of a deceased party, Murphy Law will prepare the application for grant of probate or administration, as the case may be, and will serve all of the beneficiaries and interested parties with a copy of that application. We will advise you as to your duties in the winding up of the estate including your obligations to Revenue Canada, and will ensure that you receive a legally binding release from all beneficiaries and interested parties before the estate is fully distributed. If disputes or contentious issues arise during the course of administration of the estate, Murphy Law is well able to bring a court application for resolution of the issue. We will keep the beneficiaries informed and you will have peace of mind.
A comprehensive estate planning includes preparing for possible mental incapacity due to injury, dementia or other illness. Murphy Law will prepare a Personal Directive and an Enduring Power of Attorney for you, both to take effect upon such a contingency. The documents will appoint a person of your choosing to make personal decisions on your behalf and to deal with your property and finances. If your loved one has already lost capacity, our team can prepare and file the necessary court applications to appoint you guardian and trustee for your loved one.
If your loved one has already lost mental capacity, we can assist you in making an application for Guardianship and Trusteeship.