Chatham Wills and Estate Lawyers

At Cohen Highley LLP, our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham have extensive experience providing important legal advice and support to local community members. Depending on your needs and circumstances, our Chatham wills and estate lawyers may be able to assist you with a variety of legal matters. These include:

  • Probate applications
  • Designating powers of attorney
  • Directives
  • Removing an executor from a will
  • Challenging a will
  • Estate fiduciary duties
  • Passing of accounts
  • Settling the estate
  • Estate trustees
  • Identification and valuation of assets
  • Guardianship matters
  • Beneficiary matters
  • Certificate of Estate Trustees
  • Guiding executors
  • Charitable trusts
  • Investment properties and other investments
  • And more

Conversations about end-of-life care, the division of your estate after your death, the administration of a deceased loved one’s estate, and beneficiary disputes often involve complicated, heightened emotions. Our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham are proud to provide sensitive, personal, and efficient service to the people who seek out our advice and assistance. 

To learn more about how Cohen Highley LLP may be able to assist you, contact us today.

Estate Planning

It is never too early to start planning for the future. Even though estate planning might be something you continue to put off until a later date, there is no better time to put your affairs in order than right now. 

You may be hesitant to discuss personal matters about your final wishes. However, by working with our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham, you will be taking a positive first step towards ensuring your family’s future financial security. 

The world can be an unpredictable place. And while nobody expects to have their lives ended prematurely, making sure your plans are settled can help protect your family in the event of unforeseeable tragedy. 

People who die before creating a will are referred to as “intestate.” Intestate people throughout the province have no input regarding the division of their property after their deaths. Instead, the estates of intestate Ontarians are divided according to a system outlined in the province’s Succession Law Reform Act. Although the system mandated by this legislation takes an intestate individual’s close relatives into consideration when dividing their property after their death, it does not rely on the specific wishes and instructions of the deceased. Furthermore, if the deceased has neither a will nor next of kin, the provincial government will inherit their estate. 

That is why it is so important to plan for your future today. It might be tempting to put off conversations about estate planning for a rainy day, but unless you take decisive action while you still can, you may lose your chance to articulate your wishes.

In addition to planning how your property will be divided after your death, our Chatham wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham may be able to help you make other crucial decisions about your future. By preparing now for the worst-case scenario, you can ensure that your wishes will be carried out according to your intentions. 

By working with our Chatham wills and estate lawyers, you will have the opportunity to designate powers of attorney for both your property and personal care. A designated power of attorney for property is someone who has the authority to manage your finances should you become unable to do so later in life. A designated power of attorney for personal care handles decisions about your medical treatment, living arrangements, and end of life care should you be unable to express your opinions or become mentally incapacitated in the future. 

No one enjoys imagining themselves in unthinkable circumstances. That said, planning for every possible eventuality can have tremendous benefits in the future. To schedule a conversation with our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham, call our local office today.

Estate Litigation

After the death of a close relative, romantic partner, business partner, or beloved friend, certain people might have reasons to believe that they were meant to be included in the deceased’s will. However, for a number of reasons, they may not feel as though they have been allocated what they were promised or what they believe is fair.

In most cases of estate litigation, emotions can run high. Many disputes regarding estates involve family members. These disputes amongst close relatives can bring up uncomfortable feelings. They are often difficult to resolve amicably. 

However, our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham appreciate a neglected beneficiary’s need to be heard, and to be granted the fair estate portion they feel they deserve. In accordance with the province’s Estates Act, there are some legal grounds on which a person can contest a will. These include:

  • The will is considered invalid because it was unsigned, or no witnesses were present at the time it was executed.
  • There is proof that the will was created under duress, undue influence, or while mentally incapable of making sound decisions.
  • Evidence exists to suggest that the will is fraudulent or has been falsified. 
  • A previously created, valid will is now void because of a subsequent marriage later in life.
  • Sudden changes to the will were made later in the testator’s life after a remarriage. 
  • And more

Conflicts between beneficiaries can be emotionally difficult and deeply personal. Because of that, our Chatham wills and estate lawyers always do their best to resolve disputes with as little contention as possible. At Cohen Highley LLP, our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham value transparent communication, comprehensive dialogue, and personal connection in an attempt to ensure that all parties involved in disputes feel heard and satisfied. 

To discuss options that might be available to you, schedule your initial consultation with our Chatham wills and estate lawyers by calling Cohen Highley LLP. 

Estate Administration

Typically, estate trustees (formerly known as “executors” are expected to wrap up a deceased person’s estate within one year of their death. If you have been named an estate trustee, fulfilling all of the tasks involved in accordance with their various deadlines can seem like a challenge. This is especially true for estate trustees who had a close, personal connection to the deceased. On top of carrying out the responsibilities associated with wrapping up their estate, you are likely to also be carrying the emotional burden of your loss.

The tasks associated with wills and estate administration can seem confusing and complicated, especially if you do not have any experience with this process. Estate trustees have a great responsibility to both the memory of the deceased and the beneficiaries they have left behind. Without the proper legal assistance, you may find yourself struggling to properly complete the task at hand. 

At Cohen Highley LLP, we pride ourselves on providing clear advice and critical support to estate trustees throughout the process of wrapping up a deceased person’s estate. 

If you have been designated an estate trustee, consider scheduling a consultation with our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham to review the details of your situation and learn about the ways in which we might be able to help. 

Speak with Our Wills and Estate Lawyers Serving Chatham Today

Few experiences are more challenging than the loss of a loved one. That is why legal matters regarding wills and estates often involve such deep emotions. Due to the sensitive and personal nature of these issues, our Chatham wills and estate lawyers believe in providing personalized and compassionate service to the clients we represent. 

If you are planning for your family’s future financial security or have another matter regarding a will or estate that you wish to discuss, take advantage of an initial consultation with Cohen Highley LLP by contacting our wills and estate lawyers serving Chatham today.

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