Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts

Though it can be an uncomfortable topic for some, estate planning is a key element in sound financial management of your personal and business assets.  Whether you are 25 or 75, there is a sense of ease and security that comes with knowing that your affairs are in order.

For generations, our lawyers have provided a full suite of personal and business estate planning and management services. A comprehensive Estate Plan means that, in addition to a will, a power of attorney and a personal directive, all related issues, including taxation, financial management, trust provisions, business and succession planning, and real estate are considered. Trusts can be valuable tools in planning for the transfer of assets, for creditor protection and protection from unreasonable claims, for tax planning, for insurance proceeds and for charitable purposes. 

We can assist in the resolution of disputes involving trusts, wills and estates. We can advise on all aspects of family law relating to estates, including divorce, separation and in proceedings with respect to division of matrimonial assets. We are experienced in all aspects of personal taxation and estate planning. We advise clients on structuring and implementing a family trust, structuring and implementing estate freeze reorganizations, planning for inter-generational wealth transfers, including foreign assets, cottage succession plans, and tax-effective will planning.

Our Tax and Estate Planning Group has many years of experience helping professionals manage their wealth and get the most out of their professional corporations.

Our lawyers are experienced in guiding Estates through the Probate Court process, if necessary, and will ensure appropriate probate planning, including possible probate avoidance.

In response to the need for localized executor and trustee services, we also offer professional Executor and Trustee Services. The arrangements for an Estate and for Testamentary Trusts established under an Estate may require expert management or advice or longer term oversight. We have the expertise, resources and established community presence to attend to the administration of Estates and of Trusts, and ensure that they are managed by an impartial professional with the requisite legal and legislative knowledge. This ensures the permanency of arrangements and means that family members may be spared the full burden of estate administration. 

It’s not fun to think about your will and planning for a time when you’re no longer with your loved ones. But if you don’t think about it – plan for it – the government decides where your assets go. And it’s not always where you think.

Did you know that without a will, your assets don’t automatically go in full to your spouse?

Our experienced Wills and Estates lawyers can help you understand and plan the right way. We can help you make the kinds of decisions that can help your family and loved ones when they need it most. A well-planned will can help avoid disagreements and bad feelings, and it can make a rough emotional time a little smoother.

In conjunction with our estate planning and management services, our firm drafts comprehensive wills for hundreds of clients annually. Our lawyers are experienced and adept in recording the wishes of you and your family. We know what questions to ask to make sure all aspects of your estate are considered. When we’re done the plan, your will, power of attorney, personal care directives and guardianship appointments have all been considered. And we’ve discussed and formed a plan for related issues like taxation, financial management, trust provisions, business planning and real estate. It’s simple, with the right help.

No matter what phase of life you’re in, wills and estate planning is important.

Our Tax and Estates team has extensive experience in all matters relating to trusts including trusts used in estate planning, planning for family members with special needs, trusts put in place for income tax purposes or for asset protection and wealth preservation.  The effective use of trusts requires a comprehensive understanding of trust law, income tax and estate planning.

Our Patterson Law team brings all of this knowledge to the table, providing our clients with the skills required to meet their needs in a sensitive, timely and efficient manner.