WEST COAST FAMILY LAW CENTRE

Estate and Incapacity Matters





We can draft the following documents for you, and provide you with advice on their creation, content and effect:

Wills
  • Wills (and Codicils): A will appoints executors who must follow your directions for managing and distributing your estate. Your executors must meet the requirements of BC and Canadian law, including probate applications and fees, and taxes. Your will sets out how you want the assets of your estate distributed among your chosen beneficiaries. You may also appoint guardians for your children under the age of 19, and direct how money be held in trust for your spouse, minor children, adult children, or beneficiaries with disabilities.
  • Declarations regarding property or under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act: BC’s legislation allows spouses or children who are not adequately provided for in the will of a deceased spouse or parent to apply to the court to vary that will. As part of your estate planning, you may want to make a written declaration of your reasons for the distribution of your estate among your children and/or spouse. If you anticipate any challenges to your will or estate planning, you may want to make a statutory declaration.
  • Beneficiary designations for life insurance, RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, RESPs and pensions: We can help you review and consider your beneficiary designations in the context of your estate planning.
  • Deeds or declaration of gifts: In many cases, you should record your intention to gift property in writing. We can prepare the necessary documents.
  • Minimizing taxes: We cannot provide accounting or financial advice, but can advise you on taxation matters affecting estates and steps that may be taken to minimize taxes or plan for expected taxes.


Powers of Attorney

A power of attorney appoints one or more people to manage your legal andfinancial affairs if you become unable to do so.



Representation Agreements

A representation agreement appoints one or more people to make health care, personal care and end of life decisions for you if you become unable to do so.



Nominations of Committee (pronounced KOM-i-tee)

You can make a binding nomination of one or more people to act as your committee in the event you later become mentally incapable of handling your legal or financial affairs or to make health care decisions for yourself. If you want to plan for the possibility you may become incapable, it is best to make a Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement. If you expect some disagreement among your family members, you may want to make a Nomination of Committee as well.



Committeeship Applications

If one of your relatives or close friends has become unable to manage his or her financial and legal affairs, and/or unable to make decisions about his or her health care or residence, one or more people may need to make an application to the Supreme Court to be made committee(s) for the person. We can help you prepare a committeeship application or respond to an application started by someone else.