The estate planning process involves organizing your affairs to preserve your wealth and dispose of yours assets in accordance with your wishes – which is why it’s incredibly helpful to have one of our estate planning lawyers to help. Your will is the key element of the estate planning process. The will is used to distribute your property to beneficiaries and to ensure your loved ones are properly cared for. Failure to draft an accurate will could lead to unnecessary financial and personal burdens on your family when your estate is being administered. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to a formula, without regard to your needs and circumstances as well as needs of your loved ones.
Estate Planning Lawyers in Toronto
At Bykov Law, we work with individuals to draft a will based on their stage of life, circumstances as well as personal and financial goals. In addition to drafting wills, we also work with our clients on other elements of an estate plan, including:
Your will is the most important part of your estate plan. It is your last statement on this earth that gives you a peace of mind in the knowledge that your loved ones will be cared for.
Once the drafting of will is complete, we will help you properly execute your will and explain any questions you may have going forward. Once your will is executed, we will store either an original or a copy in our fireproof safe as the Law Society of Upper Canada dictates.
At Bykov Law, we regularly draft wills for our clients. We take down your instructions carefully and personalize your will to your exact specifications. We also provide advice on how to best achieve your wishes and goals, ensure your loved ones are provided for, reduce your income and estate administration tax and streamline the overall estate administration process.
At Bykov Law, we understand the complexity involved in distributing your wealth to your family. Trusts can be used in several areas of the estate planning process. Family trusts are used to distribute wealth to family members, while ensuring assets are protected and privacy is maintained. Spousal trusts are often combined with an elderly client’s will to ensure their spouse is provided for while directing the final distribution of their assets.
At Bykov Law, we are familiar with all aspects of wills, estates, and trust law. Our estate planning lawyers have the necessary experience to help our clients achieve their goals. If you would like to discuss trusts or your estate plan with one of our estate planning lawyers, contact us to schedule a consultation.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal mechanism through which you may give another individual or group of individuals the authority to make legal decisions on your behalf. This can range from something as simple as signing a document on your behalf, to deciding whether or not to terminate life support.
There are many reasons why you may need to do this. For example, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to buy, sell or otherwise deal with property in another jurisdiction. It may be much more cost-efficient for you to send or hire an agent to handle matters for you. Frequently, when a parent dies in another country a group of siblings will send just one member to administer the estate on behalf of all of them. Another example is where you find yourself in a coma there are multiple ways of caring for you, and one has to be chosen. Your power of attorney would be able to make those decisions on your behalf.
There are two different types of power of attorney:
- Power of Attorney for Personal Care – This grants an individual who, in the event of you not being able to do so, will make the decisions regarding proper health care for you. In extreme situations, your power of attorney may decide it is best to terminate life support.
- Power of Attorney for Property – This grants an individual the power over all matters related to your fiscal, physical or other property. Depending on how the document is drafted, it will allow the power of attorney to sell your house, take money out of your bank accounts, pursue litigation on your behalf and so forth.
None of this is to say that the power of attorney is allowed to run your affairs as they see fit! At all stages the power of attorney is bound by a fiduciary duty to you. In the event that things get messy, or claims arise that accuse the power of attorney of not acting in your best interest, then that person will have to satisfy the court that their actions were in fact done with good intention. Otherwise, they will find themselves facing legal consequences.
Finally, it should be noted that no power of attorney can grant any individual the power to make a will or testament on your behalf. The law recognizes that the finality of a will is so important that only the testator has the power to make or alter one.
At Bykov Law, we are experienced in drafting all Powers of Attorney for our clients, either as part of their estate planning process or as a stand-alone legal service. The Power of Attorney will be written to your exact specifications, executed, and stored at our office.
Estate Planning and Litigation
Our estate planning lawyers are knowledgeable in taxation and planning issues, which commonly arise in personal estates, and can advise you how best to manage and distribute your assets in the event of a death in the family.
In the event that a dispute arises over the proper interpretation, drafting, or divisions in a will, a lengthy litigation process may begin. Our estate planning lawyers are well versed in both estate and civil procedure law and will fight to get you the result you deserve.
Estate Administration and Distribution
Probate refers to the process of becoming a certified executor or trustee of a will. The legal process can be quite complex, and you may wish to hire an experienced wills and estates lawyer to guide you through it.
We provide legal services and help in probate, trusteeship, and execution of estates.
How Our Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help
We work very hard to understand our clients’ goals so that we can deliver professional advice and timely legal results. We put our clients first by looking at the experience of going through a legal matter from our client’s point of view. And we pride ourselves on our good communication with clients and quick response to questions by phone and email. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.