Wills & Estates
Trusted Wills and Estates Lawyer Serving Niagara and St. Catharines
Drafting a will and planning your estate can seem daunting and is often a complicated task. It is always advised to have the assistance and guidance of reliable legal experts to take you through the legal procedures and ensure you follow all state laws and mandatory regulations when creating and planning your wills and estates. For estate planning, it is important to appoint an executor to administer the net worth of your assets. If you need a wills and estates lawyer in Niagara, look no further than J. Leigh Daboll Law Office. Our legal professionals will be by your side to make this process as simple and stress-free as possible. We will help you understand the various estate planning options available to you and guide you through the probate process. Please get in touch with us to know how we can help you know your rights as a beneficiary, the duties of executors and trustees and interpret and enforce wills and trust arrangements. We are also available to counsel you on mental incapacity issues and any other family-related laws and disputes.
Our Lawyers Can Help You With A Range Of Wills & Estates Matters
Our lawyers are qualified to offer legal advice and assistance with the following matters related to wills and estates:
Creating a last will & testament.
Drafting a living will or a health care directive.
Choosing a power of attorney for the property and personal care.
Planning business succession and family trusts.
Estate planning and real estate transfers.
Simple or contested probate applications.
Estate administrations, litigations and disputes.
What Is A Probate?
Probate is a legal process that allows the court to formally approve the will as the last and valid will of the deceased and confirm the authority of the person named as the trustee of the estate. After completing the probate process, the court will issue a Certificate of Appointment of An Estate Trustee, which gives the estate trustee the legal authority to deal with matters relating to the deceased’s estate.
Whether you are an executor of an estate or simply arranging your own financial affairs, our team will help you with all the legalities surrounding the probate process, organizing all necessary documentation and tasks to ensure that all your assets are distributed to beneficiaries according to your wishes. Book your consultation with our wills and estates lawyers in Niagara to secure your and your family’s future.
When Is A Probate Required?
Probate is required in the following situations:
If the deceased has died without a will or an estate trustee is not named in the deceased’s last will.
If the deceased has died without a will and has no surviving spouse or next of kin.
Before the deceased’s assets, estate and property can be sold.
In case of any dispute about the validity of the will or the naming and appointment of the estate trustee.
If the beneficiaries named in the will are unwilling or unable to give legal consent.
Moreover, it is important to note that most financial institutions require a court-issued Certificate of Appointment of An Estate Trustee as proof of a person’s legal authority to receive the deceased’s money or investments. Although a probate is required in most situations, if no assets are owned by the deceased, there would be no need for probate. Please consult our lawyers if you are dealing with any of the above situations.
Benefits of Making a Will
Making and preparing a last and valid will offers the following benefits:
Choose who gets the deceased’s property and how it is to be divided among beneficiaries.
Appoint and assign powers of an Executor or Estate Trustee to oversee and manage the distribution of the estate and avoid a lengthy probate process.
Express funeral arrangements and burial wishes which can be executed by the family and reduce the stress associated with the process.
Appoint a guardian who can care for minor children in case both parents pass away.
Minimize estate taxes.
Decide how digital assets like online financial accounts, social media handles and files and images are to be managed and accessed by family and friends.
Make arrangements for the care of a dependent with a disability, formalizing the person’s financial and personal care arrangements.
Minimize the distress of the deceased’s passing on family and friends.
Why Choose J Leigh Daboll in Niagara and St. Catharines?
J. Leigh Daboll Law Office is one of the trusted legal advisers in Niagara. We have nearly 30 years of expertise in providing legal services to our clients. Our team of expert lawyers can help you in dealing with divorce, family and criminal cases. They are also skilled in employment law and wrongful termination cases. We have professional affiliations from organizations such as the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association. You can count on us for trustworthy, professional and confidential legal assistance. Feel free to call us for an initial discussion, and we will ensure to help you protect your rights.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is a Will?
A will is a legal document that states the distribution of the testator's assets to his/her heirs.
2. What Is an Estate?
An estate is the total value of an individual’s properties including land, assets and possessions.
3. Why Is Wills and Estate Planning Necessary?
If you wish to transfer or distribute your assets to your heirs, it is crucial to plan your will and estate. It not only reduces chaos after your death but also reduces the tax burden for your family.
4. Who Can Make a Will?
Any person 18 years and above is liable to make a will.
5. What Are the Requirements of a Will?
The following are the requirements of a valid will:
You must be in sound mind when preparing a will
It must be in writing followed by the testator’s signature
It should have signs of two witnesses
6. Do I Need a Lawyer for Wills and Estate Planning?
Hiring experienced lawyers can be helpful as they can guide you through the legal directives. They are well-versed in wills and estate planning, and their advice can be valuable for you.
7. How Can J. Leigh Daboll Law Office Help Me in Wills and Estate Planning?
At J. Leigh Daboll Law Office, our lawyers can help you draft a detailed will. We ensure considering all the checklists required in wills and estate planning.