Our lawyers bring a sensitivity and understanding to the areas of estate planning and litigation. They are solution oriented, and work with clients to meet their particular goals, including minimizing probate fees and the potential of a wills variation claim. JFB lawyers work with clients to create unique and personalized plans and to put the appropriate tools in place, including powers of attorney, representation agreements, advance directives (formerly living wills), wills, and trusts. They are also experienced in Probate applications and in obtaining Letters of Administration when someone passes without a will.
Our litigation team assists clients in both challenging and defending estates, committeeship applications, and situations involving misuse of powers of attorney. They are experienced in assisting parties who have been treated unfairly under a will, and in defending claims against estates.
If you have a question regarding these issues in British Columbia, please feel free to call us today!
By Stuart Cappus To be valid, a will must be in writing, signed by the will-maker in the presence of two witnesses who are present at the same time, and signed by those two witnesses in the presence of the will-maker. Historically in BC, a will could not be admitted to probate unless these formal […]
By Stuart Cappus When a person dies without a will, the Wills, Estates and Succession Act determines who will get their assets. Essentially, the Act provides that the deceased’s closest next of kin will inherit his or her estate. If the deceased is survived by a spouse but not any children, the spouse will receive […]
In this case, Stuart Cappus and Trina Brubaker acted for a man who, unfortunately, was being sued by his father for the return of a piece of property that his father had transferred to him several years prior. The pair had a falling-out almost two-years after the transfer when the son made efforts to develop the […]
Why not do my own will? “Do-it-yourself” and home will kits are popular. However, they are also hazardous. While there is a long list of common mistakes, the most common is to omit a clause giving away the residue of the estate. Another common mistake is to give away an asset that no longer exists at the […]
What does a will do? A will provides for the management and distribution of your property upon your death. Through your will, you can appoint an executor to manage your estate, which includes payment of your debts and distribution of your property, and you can provide specific instructions as to how you want this to happen. This can […]
Disappointed beneficiaries are often caught off guard, and mistakenly believe that there is no recourse. The Wills, Estates and Successions Act (“WESA”) gives children and spouses the right to apply to court to vary the terms of will if they feel that they have been treated unfairly in a process called “wills variation”. There is no distinction […]
The definition of spouse has evolved dramatically, and can vary depending on the legislation being considered, or the jurisdiction you are in. Both the Wills, Estates and Successions Act (“WESA”) and the Family Law Act define spouses as two people of any gender who are married to each other, or who have lived together in […]
A Representation Agreement is a document that appoints a person to make health and personal care decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. This is an often overlooked element of estate planning. While Representation Agreements may grant limited financial authority to the representative, a Power of Attorney is […]
The term ‘living will’ is a term from the United States that has been adopted into everyday language, and typically refers to any kind of advance care planning document. The term ’living will’ is not in B.C.’s health care consent legislation, although it is generally accepted to mean a person’s wishes for future health care. […]
On September 1, 2011, the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility Admission (Act) was amended to provide for advance directives. Advance directives replaced what was usually referred to as a living will in B.C. A living will done before September 1, 2011 is valid as an advance directive if it states: An advance directive is […]