While some choose to create their Last Will and Testament from a “will in a box” or an online form, all can have a legal standing in court. However, your final affairs are highly important; they should be handled with a high degree of care, following all required legalities. Hiring a professional wills and estate lawyer will help to ensure that your wishes are honoured – even if those wishes are challenged by disgruntled relatives.
Although no one wants to think that their possessions will be fought over by feuding family members in the future, this unfortunately happens all too often. The best wills are ones that comply with formal statutory requirements, have the signatures of at least two witnesses and follow all legalities of a Will. In order to have a Will that complies with the required formalities, it is important to have the Will drafted from an Estate Lawyer.
But there are other reasons why you might need the assistance of a wills and estate lawyer as well.
What is an estate lawyer?
There are different types of estate lawyers. There are estate planners who help you plan how your estate will be distributed and help you choose the appropriate decision makers. These are the lawyers who help you draft your will and other estate documents such as Power of Attorney.
There are also estate litigators. These are the lawyers who help their clients resolve disputes that may arise over estates. These lawyers advise estate trustees and beneficiaries on issues such as interpretations of and challenges to a will.
Estate litigators also assist when there are disputes over mental capacity (such as whether a person was of sound mind when they wrote their will), as well as health care decisions and guardianship matters.
Estate lawyers can also perform a range of other tasks such as ensuring the estate is distributed property. They can also help a spouse or financial dependent make a claim against the estate in the event that they have not been adequately provided for.
When to hire an estate lawyer.
Anyone who wants to ensure that their final wishes are carried out should hire an estate planning lawyer. Although wills and power of attorney documents can be drafted by a general practice lawyer, if you want to make these documents as airtight as possible, it is best work with an estate lawyer – particularly if you have a larger estate or complicated family dynamics that can cause potential issues.
A lawyer that specializes in estate law is going to give you a more tailored approach as well as advice on who you should choose for executor, power of attorney and so forth. In some cases, they may even advise you to hire a professional executor rather than a family member or friend.
Furthermore, an estate lawyer can advise you on setting up a trust and the various types of trusts that are available. They can offer strategies on probate and even on how to avoid probate altogether. An estate lawyer can help you deal with income tax and real estate matters and how to plan for the care of your minor children in case anything were to happen to you prior to your children reaching a legal age.
And if you yourself are an executor or trustee, an estate lawyer can help ensure that you understand your role and obligations so that you will be better protected against legal action or personal liabilities. And if you believe that you are in a position to challenge a will, an estate litigator can help you with the process.
Contact Minhas Lawyers today!
At Minhas Lawyers, our estate lawyers are skilled professionals who can help you with your estate planning, understanding your role as an executor or trustee or even challenging a will if you think you’ve been treated unfairly. To speak to one of our estate lawyers, contact us today.
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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