What will happen to your property after you die? If you want it to go to the heirs of your choice, then you’ll need to engage in some estate planning. Our services can help you secure your property for your heirs, protect your property from estate taxes, and ensure that your wishes are honored after death.
Let our experienced team of estate planning lawyers help you secure a future for your heirs.
What happens if you don’t have a will?
The province will decide how your assets get divided at the time of death. An administrator pays your debts out of the estate, then distributes what’s left to your heirs. The order of priority will be your spouse, your biological children, your parents, and your siblings. If none of these relatives are alive, the courts will turn to more distant relatives, like nieces and nephews. In some cases, this can mean money goes to estranged family members, or family members with whom you have no existing relationship.
If you want to make sure you’re taking care of step-children, that your second wife doesn’t take your inheritance from your biological children, or that all of your remaining assets go to charity, you’ll need a will.
Without a will, your debts will also continue to acquire interest while the courts are waiting around to appoint an executor. This can mean even less money is available for your heirs. The government may also force your spouse and children out of the family home, simply because they need to sell it to divvy up your estate according to legal formulas.
If you have minor children, the government will determine who cares for them. The province may also step in to act as their financial trustee, all while charging fees to your estate.
How a Lawyer Helps With Estate Planning
Our lawyers can help you set up various estate planning vehicles to help you manage your assets in a more precise fashion. A will isn’t the only tool that you can use to protect your assets and your family’s future. For example, we can help you set up certain trusts which will bypass the probate process.
Estate planning is about more than writing a will. It’s also about setting up health care directives, powers of lawyer, and other contingencies in the event that you become unable to manage your own affairs.
We will take a look at the specifics of your assets and debts and will help you create the legal vehicles you will need to minimize family disputes and maintain as much of an inheritance for your loved ones as possible.
Why Merchant Law?
Get a legal team that’s responsive to you, your concerns, and your needs. Our experienced estate planning lawyers have had decades of time to see almost every situation that can arise, and we will put that knowledge to work for you.
It’s easy to get started. Just contact us today for a free consultation, and find out how we can help you meet your estate planning needs.