Sherman Law LLP

 

 

 

Estate Planning

 

WE ARE KITCHENER ESTATE PLANNING LAWYERS WITH OVER 40 YEARS OF FIRM EXPERIENCE

WHO CAN HELP YOU TO CREATE AN ESTATE PLAN THAT MEETS ALL OF YOUR GOALS. 

 

WE ARE NOW OFFERING CONSULTATIONS BY ZOOM VIDEO CONFERENCE!

 

Far too often, people avoid contemplating their own mortality and neglect to plan for the distribution of their assets when they die. Many put off to tomorrow planning that should be done today. Unfortunately, everyone will eventually pass away and often with considerable assets. Dying without a Will can be a costly process and cause unnecessary stress on your children and family. It can often cost more to administer an estate where there was no Will than an estate with a Will and proper estate plan. Therefore, estate planning is an important aspect of organizing your personal affairs that should not be ignored. Our team of highly skilled Kitchener estate planning lawyers recognizes that estate planning can be a very personal matter that requires unique personal attention to ensure that we implement a comprehensive estate plan that respects all of your wishes,

while minimizing the potential for family disputes.

 

At Sherman Law LLP, we approach things differently than other lawyers in Waterloo Region. We view estate planning as an ongoing process rather than a single task to be completed. Estate planning should be a wholistic process and is a very personal experience. When we meet with you, we start by learning about your family and the people who are important to you.  We consider the family dynamics of your situation and other areas of law such as family law and corporate law. In order to understand your interests and goals and your financial situation, we find it very helpful to understand the people and relationships in your life. Once we have a clear picture of the people that are important to you and your goals, we can then work together to create a comprehensive estate plan that satisfies your financial and emotional goals while being family-focused. 

 

Estate planning is the process of arranging your affairs to ensure that at your death your savings and assets will pass on to your beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes and without unnecessary tax consequences. This process can involve the drafting of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and general estate management.

 

It is not unusual for people to confuse estate planning and financial planning. Both offer a valuable way to organize assets, plan for the future, and create financial peace of mind. However, there are important differences. Financial planning involves assessing a client's financial goals and making decisions about how to grow wealth to create more financial freedom and to meet personal and business financial goals. In contrast, estate planning involves managing wealth once it has been accumulated, protecting it, and making the right plan to distribute assets at the appropriate time and to the desired people. In addition, estate planning deals with more than just financial assets, and often includes discussion of who shall make healthcare and financial decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself, who will care for your pets, a detailed plan for your medical care if you become ill or near the end of your life, and the type of legacy you wish to pass on to future generations. 

 

Our team of Kitchener wills and estates lawyers has over 40 years of firm experience gained through mentoring, continuing legal education, and practical experience. Whether you are just starting out in your career and require a basic Will and Powers of Attorney or you have considerable assets and require a more detailed estate plan, our Kitchener estate planning lawyers are ready to assist you in meeting your goals and protecting your legacy. We offer reasonable flat rate packages for many of our estate planning services and discounted rates for spouses who wish to create similar estate plans.

 

Wills & Powers of Attorney

 

Testamentary Trusts

 

 

 

 

 

 

We offer comprehensive estate planning designed to meet your wishes and goals while protecting your legacy and reducing your estate's probate tax.

 

Our comprehensive estate planning session will begin with working with you to assess your assets and your needs with regard to your estate. We will ask you about your preferences and life goals, and then advise you on your options. Examples of the areas that will be discussed in the consultation may include appointing an executor of your estate, appointing a guardian of minor children, and succession planning for entrepreneurs and family businesses, including corporate reorganizations and shareholder agreements. You may also wish to make special provisions for the transfer of your estate to a common-law partner.

 

Sometimes, clients want to make provisions for a disabled child or spouse through the creation of a testamentary trust such as a spousal trust or a Henson trust. We can assist you in drafting trusts and developing an estate plan that meets your goals.

 

Let us help you put a plan in place to protect your family or the future of your business!

 

Our comprehensive estate planning services may include:

 

  • Last Will and Testament drafting, including public (probatable) and private (non-probatable) Will documents for reducing estate administration probate tax

  • Powers of Attorney for Personal Care (often referred to as a “living will” or a “personal care directive”)

  • Powers of Attorney for Property

  • Succession planning for entrepreneurs and family businesses, including corporate reorganizations and shareholder agreements

  • Estate planning including provisions providing for the transfer of the family cottage

  • Administration and variation of trusts

  • Family trusts and inter vivos dispositions

  • Spousal testamentary trusts

  • Life testamentary trusts

  • Henson testamentary trusts (specially designed for disabled beneficiaries to minimize their loss of government benefits)

  • Minimization of income and capital gains tax

  • Tax shelters

  • Intergenerational transfers of family wealth

  • Assisting estate trustees with all aspects of estate administration including obtaining probate and preparation of documentation

  • Life and estate management services

  • Same-sex couples’ estate planning

 

What should you look for in an estate planning lawyer?

 

A general practitioner may not have the experience and specialized knowledge to assist you with your unique situation. You should retain a Kitchener estate planning lawyer who devotes his or her practise to this area of law. We have over 40 years of experience in estate planning, and have developed specialized skills in this area. ThreeBestRated has rated our firm as one of the top three estate planning lawyers for the City of Kitchener. Divorce Angels also highly recommends our estate planning services as a vetted professional for those going through the uncertainty of a divorce.

 

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What should you consider when entering into estate planning?

 

When we initially meet with clients to discuss estate planning, we often request that our clients think about the following considerations:

  • Does your current estate plan effectively provide for an orderly disposition of your estate to all of your intended beneficiaries?
  • Have you prearranged your funeral?
  • Have you considered making gifts during your lifetime to minimize probate fees?
  • Have you appointed beneficiaries on savings and investments such as tax-free savings accounts, RRSPs, RRIFs, and other investments in order to minimize probate fees?
  • Have you designated your life insurance benefits payable directly to your beneficiaries?
  • Have you confirmed your intentions with regard to jointly owned property such as real estate, bank accounts, and investments in order to ensure that you have established clear ownership rights?
  • Have you considered creating a trust for your spouse or children that can help you realize tax advantages or preserve assets such as an interest in a business, matrimonial home, or family cottage?
  • Do you have a plan to reduce or defer taxes that may become payable after your death?

If you have answered negatively to any of these considerations, you would benefit from meeting with one of our lawyers to discuss updating your current estate plan.

 

Estate planning for same-sex couples.

 

Same-sex couples in a common-law relationship and those same-sex spouses who are married to each other will face unique challenges and concerns when preparing Wills and Powers of Attorney in order to transfer assets to each other without unforeseen complications and at the lowest possible tax rate. We offer comprehensive estate planning for our gay and lesbian clients based on our years of experience helping others in similar situations. If you are in a same-sex relationship and require specialized assistance in ensuring that you have adequately provided for your spouse or partner upon your death, we invite you to contact a lawyer from our Kitchener law firm for advice. We are proud to be the law firm of choice for the LGBTQ community in Waterloo Region and Wellington County, and we offer a safe environment to discuss your goals.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you want to learn more about estate planning?

 

For over 40 years, clients have trusted in our ability to explain their rights and obligations with respect to estate planning. We are confident that you will appreciate our professional and personalized service. We invite you to browse our website and read the positive things others have to say about us. To benefit from our knowledge and experience with respect to your estate planning, please contact 519-884-0034 or send us an email. Many of our clients are referred to us by former and current clients, as well as by lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors. We serve clients in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas.

 


 

Connect with a lawyer in our firm with expertise in this area

 

Aubrey J.  Sherman

Aubrey J.  Sherman