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estate planning

Family Lawyers Advising on Estate Planning

Proactive estate planning, including preparing a will and a power of attorney is critical step in effectively managing and distributing your wealth and in ensuring that your spouse, children, and other loved ones are taken care of if something were to happen to you.

Estate planning can be daunting and challenging, not least of all because it requires making delicate and difficult decisions and facing issues you may not want to face (such as your mortality). It requires guidance and advice from a lawyer with significant experience advising clients on such matters.

At Gelman & Associates, we have been aiding clients in protecting their wealth, minimizing their financial risk, and providing for their families for many years. We help clients tackle their immediate and long-term objectives and ensure their money goes where they want it to go. With our guidance you can guarantee your legacy remains intact.

Pro Tip

Once you’ve completed your estate plan, it’s always a wise idea to have a conversation with your loved ones to prepare them and give yourself some peace of mind.

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What is Estate Planning?

At it’s most basic, estate planning is a means of eliminating potential uncertainties and proactively addressing challenging decisions that family members and other loved ones will have to make if you become ill, incapacitated, or die.

Estate planning allows you to anticipate potential issues and address them, and to arrange for the management and eventual disposal of your estate (i.e. your home, other real estate, possessions, assets, and finances) upon your death while also minimizing taxes.

Important Issues to Consider

Find out how you can update your estate planning once you have children by reading our guide.

Read About Updating Your Estate Plans

Important issues, questions, and concerns that often arise during the estate planning process include:

  • How do I guarantee that my children will be taken care of?
  • What are the potential implications of a separation or divorce on my assets?
  • How do I protect my children’s inheritance if they separate from or divorce their partner or spouse?
  • Should I leave my estate to my beneficiaries outright or through a trust?
  • How do I most effectively deal with a cottage or vacation home?
  • How do I best protect any of my assets (including property) outside of Canada?
  • How can I protect my business?
  • Should I leave my estate to a charity or other philanthropic cause?
  • How do I minimize probate fees?

At Gelman & Associates, our highly experienced family lawyers provide clients with clear and pragmatic answers to these and other questions. We draw on our many years of both family and estate law experience to provide thorough, multi-disciplinary legal advice that covers all potential outcomes.

  • How Do Wills Work?

    • Wills appoint executors to manage and distribute your property after you die.
    • They cover any property that’s only in your name when you die and don’t cover property held in joint tenancy or a trust.
    • They’re less expensive to prepare and usually easier to change compared to a living trust.

  • How Do Living Trusts Work?

    • Living trusts appoint trustees to manage your property even while you’re still alive.
    • Living trusts cover only property transferred to the trust (i.e., put in the name of the faith).
    • They typically entail high costs for legal and tax advice due to yearly tax filings.

Contact Our Estate Planning Lawyers at one of Our Six Offices throughout North York, Downtown Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, Aurora and Barrie

Contact Gelman & Associates today to learn how our lawyers can help you to plan for the future. With six offices conveniently located throughout North York, downtown Toronto, Mississauga, Scarborough, Aurora and Barrie, we are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation.

FAQ’s about Estate Planning:

No. Generally speaking, when a person dies, the personal representative appointed in the dead person’s last will and testament takes control of the deceased person’s property and distributes it according to the will.

An ordinary power of attorney is only valid as long as the donor can act for him or herself. However, if the donor dies or becomes mentally incapacitated, a power of attorney is invalidated. On the other hand, an enduring power of attorney remains valid despite the donor being mentally incapacitated.

A general power of attorney gives a lawyer the authority to do anything the donor could perform. In contrast, a specific power of attorney is one that gives the lawyer authority to act for a particular purpose only.

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