WILLS TRUSTS AND ESTATES

Executor Services


Winnipeg Executor Services Lawyer

Executor Services for Estates

Assiniboia Law Office is a highly qualified estate firm with over two decades of experience helping clients with estate management and settlement.  We are extremely knowledgeable in estate, probate and trust laws, and can provide the skilled assistance needed to settle any size estate.  An executor has many complex responsibilities to fulfill when administering an estate, including securing and protecting the estate, collecting and distributing assets, finding beneficiaries, filing appropriate probate documents, and keeping accurate financial records.  Our firm can help you with any estate-related task, and can be trusted to perform our duties with utmost care and diligence.

Contact a Winnipeg estate planning attorney from our firm to find out more about our executor services and how we can competently and expeditiously assist you in your duties.

Executor Services Attorney in Winnipeg

An executor is often a spouse, child or close family member charged with ensuring the wishes of the deceased are carried out.  This includes collecting and distributing assets, but also involves many other tasks that will need to be completed before the estate is finally settled.  The job of an executor can be extremely difficult and require considerable time to perform your obligations.  We can provide reliable executor services to help ease your responsibilities and quickly settle estate matters, including:

  • Securing the estate
  • Finding beneficiaries
  • Collecting assets
  • Distributing assets
  • Preparing legal documents
  • Filing claims
  • Maintaining financial records

Lawyers at our office understand the obstacles that can be encountered when settling an estate.   We can provide competent legal advice to help resolve any estate issues, and reliable support services to ensure the estate is settled as soon as possible.

Acting Executors


Estate Executors and Their

Responsibilities

The executor of a will is responsible for the administration of the deceased person’s estate.  Depending on the size of the state, there can be many tasks that need to be performed before an estate is settled.  Even small estates will have various legal and financial requirements to fulfill.  An acting executor assists the executor with his or her estate duties, either fully or in part.  This can include probate, asset collection and distribution, accounting and other estate affairs.  The executor still remains responsible for the overall management of the state, and is the final decision-maker regarding any estate issues.

Having a Winnipeg estate planning lawyer as an acting executor of an estate can be critical because of the many estate duties that will need to be carried out.  A skilled lawyer will also be well-versed in estate, trust and probate laws, and can ensure that any legal obligations are fully met.

Winnipeg Estate Planning Lawyer

Administering the estate of a loved one can take considerable time and effort before it is finally settled.  It often involves a broad range of financial and legal responsibilities that can seem daunting, especially if many assets are involved.  Assiniboia Law Office is a highly qualified legal firm that can provide capable executor services for your estate such as:

  • Probate
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Establishing testamentary trusts
  • Estate accounting
  • Preparation of legal documents

A competent estate attorney from our firm can also help mediate disagreements and provide other vital support to facilitate the settlement of the estate.  Our considerable knowledge and experience can help minimize the difficulties often encountered in estate administration.  We can also be counted on to keep you current on estate matters, and provide valuable legal advice on any concerns.

Duties of Executors


What are the Duties of Executors?

Administering Your Trust

An executor is a person named in a will that is responsible for the administrative aspects of the will, including protecting, collecting and distributing estate assets and property.  An executor is legally responsible to the beneficiaries of the estate.   If a loved one has died and you have been named the executor of their estate, or if are preparing a will and have questions regarding the naming of an executor or executor duties, contact a Winnipeg estate planning attorney at once for immediate advice. A competent attorney can provide reliable counsel regarding the responsibilities of an executor and their legal obligations.

Estate Planning Attorney in Winnipeg

Depending on the size of an estate, an executor may be responsible for the distribution of a significant number of assets.  An executor’s duties also typically include:

  • Making funeral arrangements
  • Securing your estate after your death
  • Cancellation of credit cards, subscriptions, insurance policies, etc.
  • Beneficiary notification
  • Preparing any paperwork that is needed for probate
  • Collecting up the assets and determining the value
  • Notifying the Canadian Pension Plan if any money was paid into a CPP account by the deceased
  • Notifying other government agencies as needed
  • Preparing and filing income tax returns
  • Settling any estate debts

A skilled attorney from Assiniboia Law Office can advise you on what will be required of an executor following your death.  We can also provide valuable legal assistance to an estate’s executor to make sure all of the deceased’s wishes are met, and any legal and financial obligations are fulfilled.  We are extremely knowledgeable in probate law and procedures, and can confidently guide an executor through their administrative tasks.

Wills, Trust & Estate Planning


Wills & Trusts Attorney in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Why do I need a Will?

It’s important for all people to have valid will and enduring power of attorney as part of their overall estate plan. When a person dies without a will, his or her estate, which may include many different kinds of assets and property, will be divided according to Manitoba’s intestacy laws. Intestacy laws are not only inflexible, but they also determine who is entitled to share in your estate.  As a result, the people to whom you wish to leave your property may receive less than you intended or, in some cases, may receive nothing at all.  This may become a huge problem when the young children of a deceased person have greater needs than other next-of-kin who may be entitled to share in the estate by virtue of intestacy legislation.  In addition, without a valid will, there is no executor or representative to administer your estate.  In these situations, your next-of-kin or a creditor of your estate may be entitled to apply to court to be appointed to wind-up and administer your estate. This may mean that someone you would never have chosen to deal with your property will be left in charge of your estate.

These problems can be avoided by consulting a skilled Winnipeg wills and estate planning lawyer who can ensure you have a valid and properly constructed will that incorporates appropriate estate and tax planning considerations into your will.

Why do I need a Trust?

Essentially, there are two broad categories of trusts: (1) inter vivos trusts which are created by a deed or instrument during one’s lifetime; and (2) testamentary trusts which are created under one’s will and come into being upon death of the testator. A trust involves a tripartite relationship between the “settlor” who settles the trust property; a “trustee” who administers the trust; and a “beneficiary” who enjoys the fruit of the trust property.  In essence, a trust is a ‘relationship’ between a “trustee” that holds legal title to the trust property and a “beneficiary” who holds beneficial interest in that property.  The trust property is held in the name of the trustee but the beneficiary is entitled to receive the benefits of the trust property.  Because the beneficiary never holds legal title to the trust property the trust property will be protected from creditors of a beneficiary and is an excellent planning tool to provide for a spendthrift beneficiary or beneficiary with special needs. A trustee can be either an individual or a trust company or both.  All trustees have a fiduciary obligation to the beneficiaries of the trust and must act in their best interests at all times. The testamentary trust provides for many estate planning opportunities.

There are many different reasons to establish a trust including:

 

  • To avoid expensive probate fees and public disclosure associated with probate of your estate
  • To manage finances for your heirs, and to protect assets from individuals who are incapable of managing their own financial affairs
  • To protect your assets from creditors
  • To split your income with family members, both while you’re alive and after you’ve passed on
  • To protect your assets in the event of a marital breakdown
  • To preserve a right to social assistance payments
  • To defer capital gains tax

Why should I hire a Winnipeg Estate Planning Attorney?

Hiring a Winnipeg estate planning lawyer is the best way to ensure that your wishes will be honored and upheld regarding how your property will be handled after your death.  While it is possible to create a valid will and/or trust without employing the services of an attorney knowledgeable in trusts and estate law, you should know that there is a significant amount of estate litigation concerning both the validity of wills & trusts and the meaning or interpretation to be given to wills and trusts.  While it is usually easy for the courts to ascertain the meaning of a will or trust prepared by a lawyer, it may be very difficult for the courts to interpret wills and trusts that are prepared by people who have not been legally trained in these matters.  This reason alone is usually enough to convince anyone to hire a Winnipeg estate planning attorney who has experience drafting wills, trusts, and other important estate documents. Not only can a skilled estate planning lawyer ensure that your wills and trusts are customized in a way that reflect your specific needs and wishes, but he can also make sure that the specifications outlined in the will or trust are honored and upheld!

Powers of Attorney


Why do I need a Will or Power of Attorney?

It’s important for everyone to establish a valid will and enduring Power of Attorney as part of their overall estate plan.  Unfortunately, there are times when an accidental injury or debilitating medical condition renders a person incompetent or incapable of managing her financial affairs.   If an unexpected injury, illness, or medical condition affects you or a member of your family, it’s important to be prepared.

Without a valid enduring Power of Attorney, when a person becomes incapable of managing their financial affairs, a spouse or family member will need to make an application to the court to be appointed ‘committee’ of that person’s finances.  In some cases where no Power of Attorney has been established, the ‘public trustee’ may assume control and management of the person’s financial affairs.  Both of these options are not only undesirable, but they are vastly more expensive than creating an enduring Power of Attorney in which you have control in choosing the person or persons you wish to have the legal right to manage your finances.

Manitoba’s Power of Attorney Act

Under the Power of Attorney Act of Manitoba, you may structure your enduring Power of Attorney to name whom you want to possess power over your financial affairs. You may also specify under what circumstances you want the person or persons named in your Power of Attorney to be able to exercise the powers granted to them.  In addition, you may also make your attorney accountable to an independent third party of your choice.

Contact a Winnipeg Estate Planning Lawyer

Although there are very specific requirements for the effective creation and execution of a valid Power of Attorney, there is fortunately a great deal of flexibility in structuring an enduring Power of Attorney to suit your specific situation.  A Winnipeg estate planning attorney who has experience in these matters will be able to provide you with the advice and guidance you need to structure your Power of Attorney to best suit your specific wants and needs.  At Assiniboia Law Office, you can rest assured that a lawyer with experience in wills, Powers of Attorney, and other estate planning matters will be handling your legal affairs.  There is nothing more important to us than helping you create an estate plan that serves all of your needs and protects both you and the ones you love.