Wills & Estates Law
Deciding what will happen to your home, financial assets, and personal possessions after your passing can be a difficult process. Once this decision has been made, circumstances in one’s life can change, making it necessary to begin the difficult process over again—or to amend previous documents. However, if you don’t take time to make these decisions now, a court may end up dividing your property and determining who your beneficiaries are for you.
We can help you make wise decisions concerning your estate by working with a lawyer who has years of experience in this field. Crossings is dedicated to helping you through every step of your estate planning and is prepared to assist you with legal services as:
Drafting a will;
Creating business, education, retirement, and other trusts; and
Drafting codicils (amendments) to any of the above which are already in place.
The law surrounding wills is complex and subtle. In essence, a will allows your trustee(s) and/or executor(s) to know your intentions for your assets after you pass. As a result, the courts hold wills to a high standard. If you have an ineligible person sign as a witness to your will, or if you make any technical mistakes, your will could be rendered invalid. If the court determines that your will is invalid or partly invalid, a complex set of statutory provisions will determine where your will assets go—despite what your will may stated. Amending an existing will is no less complex. If you make an amendment incorrectly, the amendment–or even the entire will–can be found later found to be invalid.
Please note that there are will kits, online services and forms available. These resources, however, are drafted at your discretion and could lead to complications if not clearly defined. Take control of your estate by consulting with a professional at Crossings today.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Powers of Attorney law is concerned with helping you make decisions today about how you want your affairs handled tomorrow. When you may be unable to make the decisions yourself, creating a power of attorney gives you and your family peace of mind. By doing so, you determine what will happen to you and your assets if you are ill or otherwise incapable of making decisions pertaining to your situation through an enduring power of attorney.
A personal directive is a document which sets out your wishes for medical care–including when medical care should no longer be continued–and who can make such decisions if you can’t. Beyond deciding if certain measures should be taken or not, and in what circumstances, a personal directive includes what level of care you may wish to have if you are in pain or require the assistance of medical devices.
An enduring power of attorney is a document which describes how you would like your money, and other assets, handled while you’re alive but cannot make decisions for yourself. Such scenarios often come as a result of a coma or Alzheimer’s. Relevant decisions might include who you should live with, associate with, have control of your bank accounts, your property, and other details that pertain to your life.
Crossings offers a comprehensive range of services, including:
Drafting an enduring power of attorney;
Executing a personal directive;
Long-term care provisions;
The drafting of codicils (amendments) for any of the above.
At Crossings we understand the emotional difficulties which can compound when making these types of decisions. Our team will treat you with the respect you deserve and ensure that your wishes are realized. When you work with Crossings, you can expect attentive, personalized service through every step in the process.
If you’re ready to start making decisions for when the time comes, when you may no longer be able to make decisions, you need the help of our lawyer with knowledge to protect the interests of you and your loved ones.
Death is expensive, particularly in terms of tax liability. Canada does not have an estate tax like U.S., but when you pass away, unless specific precautions are taken, you are deemed to have sold all of your assets. Tax is subsequently due on any net capital gains.
Numerous variables can make your estate planning more complicated, such as:
Family businesses, particularly if children are involved;
Specific asset allocation to specific children;
Multiple residential properties;
Complicated investment assets;
Non-Canadian assets (U.S. vacation homes or overseas assets/property);
Blended families or complicated family situations;
Non-Canadian residents (children who live outside of Canada);
Inheritances from overseas;
Undisclosed family assets in Canada or overseas;
Large unrealized gains that will result in large tax obligation.
If any of these variables apply to you, then you’ll require our legal advice and structuring. With thorough understanding of the Canadian tax system, Crossings International knows how to help you navigate these difficulties.
If you have any questions, concerns or inquiries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.