Jacy J. Wingson, KC*
A thoughtful Estate Plan and a well-advised Estate Administration are essential aspects of safeguarding your family’s future and leaving your unique legacy.
An Estate Plan is more than deciding how to divide your assets; it is your opportunity to make decisions that impact the people, charities, and causes you care most about. While what is most important to your Estate Plan may differ at each stage of your life, the necessity of having the right Estate Plan in place will remain a constant.
A Will is the central piece of most Estate Plans and it is imperative to create and update your Will when you experience a significant change in your unique circumstances such as deciding to move in with your partner, getting married, starting a family, moving to a new province or country, receiving an inheritance, retiring, or experiencing a significant breakdown in a relationship with your partner, spouse, or child.
If you die without a Will, your assets and who will have the authority to administer them will be dealt with according to the laws of British Columbia that apply at your passing. This can often create less than ideal situations for your estate and uncertainty for your family.
Investing the time to make or update your Will is an important part of establishing the legacy you want to leave and, on your passing, will make matters simpler and more secure for the people and causes that are important to you.
Our lawyers possess decades of knowledge and experience in estate planning and will help you craft a Will that considers the quirks and complexities of British Columbian law which will serve as the foundation of your Estate Plan.
Since the turn of the century, the Income Tax Act has allowed individuals who meet certain criteria to create Alter-Ego or Joint Partner Trusts. Individuals over 65 may be able to settle one of these trusts as a part of their Estate Plan while minimizing adverse tax consequences usually associated with settling a trust during your lifetime.
Creating an Alter-Ego or Joint Partner Trust brings a number of benefits and a number of complexities. Having assets pass to your beneficiaries through a trust instead of your estate can result in paying less in fees to the government at your passing and may also decrease the likelihood of prolonged and expensive litigation among your beneficiaries over your assets.
Our lawyers will work with you and your other professional advisors to ensure that you have a full understanding of your trust and that it will be used to its full potential as a part of your Estate Plan.
A comprehensive Estate Plan will always consider how you will be properly cared for should you become incapable prior to your passing. Having the mental and physical ability to make our own decisions about our finances or our health and personal care is something often taken for granted. Putting a plan in place for your possible incapacity will give both you and those who you are closest to the clarity and security of knowing what will happen if you are deemed incapable.
In many cases, planning for incapacity will involve creating a Power of Attorney Agreement and a Representation Agreement. Through a Power of Attorney Agreement, you appoint an attorney to act in your best interests and on your behalf in relation to your legal and financial affairs. Through a Representation Agreement, you appoint a representative to make decisions in accordance with your wishes which are related to your personal care and healthcare once you have been deemed by a doctor to be incapable of doing so for yourself.
Creating these documents often include considering many personal and financial dynamics and our lawyers will help guide you to create an incapacity plan that fits your needs and the rest of your Estate Plan.
To apply for grant of probate or administration is to ask the Court under British Columbia law to grant the applicant the authority to deal with a deceased person’s estate. Most often, the person tasked with applying for the grant of probate or administration is someone close to the person who has passed and it may sometimes be yet another task at a difficult time to have to deal with the forms and formalities of such an application.
In some estates, issues can arise early on and disputes involving an estate can quickly escalate. Our Estate Administration team work closely with our Estate Litigation team to ensure a continuity of quality service should a dispute arise.
A well-crafted Estate Plan deserves a well-advised Estate Administration. Our lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and network to complete the application process efficiently and to continue to provide value to you and the estate throughout the administration.
Just as there are matters unique to Estate Administration, there are also tasks unique to the administration of a trust.
There are certain immediate concerns following the death of a trustee or life beneficiary of a trust, including establishing the authority of a replacement trustee and ensuring the assets of the trust are protected and preserved. Accounting advice is crucial when administering a trust and our lawyers will work closely with accountants and other professionals to ensure that every step is made with an understanding of the tax consequences in mind.
While the process to wind up and distribute the assets of a trust involves less formalities than winding up an estate, there are still various matters that must be addressed and our team can provide the advice and guidance needed to ensure smooth trust administration.
Structuring and Implementing Specialized Trusts
Estate Litigation Planning
Corporate Succession Planning
Wealth Preservation & Tax Planning
Administering an Estate
Executors and Administrators of an estate are responsible for far more than they likely realized when they first agreed to take on the role. An experienced Estate Administration lawyer can help navigate the administration process, liquidate or otherwise deal with estate assets, prepare the required accounts, and ensure the Executor or Administrator is protected from later problems or outstanding liabilities by helping obtain approvals, releases and settlements from the beneficiaries as needed.
Creating an Estate Plan
Our lawyers assist individuals in preserving their wealth and creating tax-efficient estate plans. Regardless of the complexity of your estate or particular situation, we have advanced planning tools to ensure that we meet your unique goals.
Creating an Incapacity Plan
Considering making a Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement is an essential component of any well-advised Estate Plan. Designating someone you trust to act in your best interest in the event you become incapable is a very personal decision that requires both reflection and advice. We can provide the advice to help you to make an informed decision.
Dying without A Will
Even if someone dies without a will, they likely still have an estate that needs to be administered. If your loved one has passed without a will, knowing how the laws in place in British Columbia at the time of their passing will impact the distribution of their estate and who has the authority to apply to deal with the estate brings clarity to an uncertain situation. Our team is ready to bring that clarity and to guide and protect you through the estate administration process.
Our office is conveniently located in Central City Tower in Downtown Surrey, one of the fastest growing and most dynamic cities in B.C., with additional meeting spaces available in Burnaby and Vancouver by appointment.
Contact us at 604.581.7001 to book a consultation today.
I used McQuarrie for the documentation on the property transfer and mortgage on my first home. Joe Berta and his Conveyancer, Tanya, were excellent throughout the process. They went above and beyond to resolve a mistake on my Realtors’ end. I would use McQuarrie again and recommend them without hesitation.
We hired McQuarrie when we were expecting our first child and needed to complete our wills, appoint a health representative, and power of attorney. Everything was delivered in a timely manner, and we are more than happy with the overall experience and final deliverables.
Jacy Wingson, QC from McQuarrie, was recommended to me by my previous lawyer, who retired as the best estate lawyer he knew. Every time I deal with Jacy, I understand why he had such a high opinion of her. I have worked with Jacy and her team on three Estates. They have been efficient every time. I would recommend Jacy and her team, and McQuarrie, to anyone who wants to get the best results, with the least worries.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I never felt neglected, abandoned, or ignored while working with Jacy Wingson, QC, on my litigation matter. I was always aware because Jacy was so helpful, kind, patient, and professional. I appreciated that very much. So, thank you again. What could have been a most unpleasant experience turned out to be not so unpleasant after all, due to Jacy’s warmth and intelligent attitude, and strategy towards my matter.
I first contacted McQuarrie to obtain assistance with a dispute within my family over the ownership of my mother’s home. We needed help and didn’t know what to do as my mother’s name was not on title. Jacy Wingson, QC of McQuarrie, immediately explained our options and informed us that my mother still had specific rights. This was a very difficult situation for my mom as she stood to lose everything. Jacy and her Estate Litigation team were very empathetic and understood the family dynamic as they guided us through the legal process. Jacy was very professional and provided outstanding advice and a legal plan of action that resulted in a reasonable outcome for all parties. Over the last few years, we have used McQuarrie’s services for real estate transactions and to assist with an estate. I highly recommend McQuarrie for any and all legal services.
I had the pleasure of working with Joseph Berta on a complicated business acquisition case for the past 18 months. I was extremely impressed with Joe’s level of professionalism and honesty. He goes above and beyond to make sure he has addressed all concerns. It is truly refreshing to see there are still law firms and lawyers who can see past billing hours and genuinely care about their clients. I would highly recommend working with Joseph Berta & the team at McQuarrie.
I had the pleasure of having Sepideh Alimirzaee represent me in a contract dispute and am very happy with the outcome she attained!
Sarando Matheos helped me with my insurance claim over the past few years. He was always very professional and concise. I was very happy with his performance and the eventual outcome of my claim.
A careless driver rear-ended my vehicle three and a half years ago. I was forced to leave my office job of six years while trying to recover from my injuries. I nearly lost my house due to financial stress from seeking new employment. I reached out to Sarando Matheos at McQuarrie for assistance with my claim, and he supported me from start to finish. Sarando went above and beyond to ensure that I was compensated for my pain and suffering. Sarando is a caring man who wants the best for his clients. I genuinely felt that a family member handled my case because of his client-focused approach. I highly recommend Sarando to anyone seeking legal assistance.
If you are having even the slightest doubt about whether you should see a lawyer or you are wondering, “Do I have a case?” – DON’T! That is exactly how I felt before I called McQuarrie. The legal team o at McQuarrie worked above my expectations while handling my case. They worked tirelessly to successfully settle my case with a fantastic result and in much less time than I expected. They were extremely professional, personal, and compassionate and made the entire process simple. Make the call – you won’t be disappointed.
I highly recommend McQuarrie for anyone who has been wrongly denied a Long Term Disability Claim! As an ordinary person, I found it extremely frustrating and highly stressful to deal with the tactics utilized by a large insurance company. With the professional and efficient intervention by McQuarrie’s team, I was successful in my claim. I can’t thank them enough for all the help as I know I could not have done it on my own.
I was represented by Perry, who displayed an exemplary amount of confidence and knowledge toward his trade while still keeping me informed of my case’s realities. Mr. Armitage made sure that I felt in control and aware of everything that happened throughout my legal battle, and I can’t show appreciation enough for how he, and the firm, handled my case to the end.
I am very pleased with the settlement you negotiated with ICBC on my behalf. I haven’t experienced services similar to McQuarrie’s.
Words can’t explain how thankful we are for all you have done and never gave up! Hopefully, we never need a lawyer again, but we would not hesitate to use you again in the future if we do. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you.