Estate Planning

People who have built up wealth during their lifetimes hope for an orderly and tax effective transfer of such wealth at the time of their deaths. In some cases, particularly those involving business owners, this is a complex and nuanced exercise. Our Estate Planning Team assists clients in identifying their long term visions for the transfer of their wealth and assisting with the organization or reorganization of their affairs so that their visions can be realized.

Our Estate Planning Team has the advantage of being able to call on the expertise of other lawyers of our firm for such advice as strategies for avoiding estate litigation, transitional business manager contracts, corporate governance and unanimous shareholder agreements and real estate transfer planning.

Significant Areas of Service

  • Advice concerning the preparation and review of wills including the use of spousal trusts and other life estates
  • Advice concerning the use of personal directives and enduring powers of attorney
  • Advice concerning the tax efficient transfer or liquidation of family businesses under a will and post mortem
  • Advice concerning tax efficient transfers of family business assets outside of a will, including corporate reorganizations in support of estate freezes, the utilization of the lifetime capital gains exemption and the use of life insurance to fund end of life taxes and lifetime sales of family corporations
  • Advice concerning post mortem tax planning and compliance, both for family members and executors
  • Advice concerning the use of inter vivos trusts as a means of protecting family assets, transferring wealth and limiting family taxes, outside of a will
  • Advice concerning the holding of family legacy assets such as recreational real estate in furtherance of efficient inter-generational transfers
  • Advice concerning the formation and use of family charitable foundations
  • Advice concerning the tax advantages of charitable giving both under a will or otherwise
  • Advice concerning the tax consequences of post retirement expatriation to another country