Kitchener Wills and Estate Lawyers

Any legal matter related to wills and estates can be emotionally charged and deeply personal. At Cohen Highley LLP, our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers appreciate just how sensitive these issues can be for our clients. That is why we do our best to resolve all estate disputes as efficiently and effectively. Our wills and estate lawyers serving Kitchener also provide one-on-one assistance to people planning their own will or administering an estate. 

Our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers have experience helping clients in the region with a wide variety of estate-related matters, including but not limited to:

  • 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

Many people assume that planning for the future will be a tiresome chore, and expensive one. But planning for the future does not have to be costly or difficult. Our wills and estate lawyers serving Kitchener know how to provide cost-effective, efficient, personalized legal services to clients in the region. 

To learn more about the services provided by our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers and to make important plans for your family’s financial security, contact Cohen Highley LLP today.

Estate Litigation

When someone close to you passes away, you might have certain expectations about decisions they have made regarding the division of their property and assets. And while many testators (i.e., people who have created a will) carefully consider how their estate will be fairly distributed amongst their beneficiaries, some relatives and business partners exclude the people closest to them from their plans. If you find yourself in this unfortunate and upsetting situation, you may wish to contest the testator’s will. 

That said, not all neglected beneficiaries have the wherewithal to contest a will. The province’s Estates Act outlines the legal grounds required to do so. 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

After the death of a relative, business associate, romantic partner, or close friend, the people left behind often find themselves grappling with overwhelming emotions and psychological distress. Interpersonal conflicts have deep roots, especially within families. Beneficiaries who have been forgotten or deliberately excluded from a testator’s will may feel a deep sense of injustice and seek to rectify the wrongs done to them by pursuing legal action.

Because of the personal nature of these circumstances, estate litigation can be emotionally challenging. Disputes within families over a testator’s estate can be volatile, and difficult to mediate amicably. That is why, when slighted beneficiaries choose to go down this path, they must be absolutely certain that their legal representative will represent their best interests with integrity.

Our wills and estate lawyers serving Kitchener appreciate our clients’ need to be heard. At Cohen Highley LLP, we put the needs of the community members we represent first and pursue justice on their behalf. In matters related to estate litigation, our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers always try to resolve disputes as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, taking all voices and perspectives into consideration when proposing resolutions. To learn more about how our wills and estate lawyers serving Kitchener may be able to assist you, call our local office today.

Estate Administration

If you have been designated as an estate trustee (once known as an “executor”), you may suddenly be tasked with significant responsibilities. Wrapping up an estate can be an involved, complex, and emotional process, especially if interpersonal conflicts amongst the estate’s beneficiaries are difficult to resolve. Our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers have a working knowledge of probate procedures, and other protocols associated with wills and estate administration and have provided critical support and advice to numerous estate trustees in the region.

The responsibility of estate administration is not one to be taken lightly. If you have been chosen to wind up a testator’s estate, it is because they believed you possess the necessary characteristics and values to handle their affairs. To properly live up to the responsibility, consider reviewing your situation with wills and estate lawyers serving Kitchener. Take advantage of a consultation and receive important legal advice by contacting Cohen Highley LLP.

Estate Planning

Many people put off thinking about estate planning. That is a perfectly understandable impulse. After all, talking about difficult, personal subject matter can be uncomfortable. However, making decisive plans for your family’s future and articulating your wishes while you still can is a right to which you are entitled, and a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. 

Unfortunately, some people put off estate planning until it is too late. Sadly, if you die before creating a will, you will have no say in how your assets are distributed. Instead, your estate will be divided in accordance with the province’s Succession Law Reform Act. 

Deceased individuals who lost their lives before creating a valid will are referred to as “intestate.” The estates of intestate Ontarians are distributed to close relatives according to a standard system of division. If an intestate person has no next of kin, their estate becomes the property of the provincial government.

It is important to express your wishes as to how your estate is divided among your beneficiaries. But it is also incredibly important to plan for challenging situations that could occur in your lifetime. By designating powers of attorney for both your property and personal care, you could help protect your family members from making difficult decisions if the worst case scenario arises. 

A designated power of attorney for property is someone who has the authority to manage your finances should you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so. A designated power of attorney for personal care will be able to carry out your wishes regarding medical treatment, living arrangements, and end of life care should you become mentally incapacitated or incapable of expressing your opinions. 

Speaking about this difficult subject matter can pose a challenge for some. However, our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers offer straightforward advice, clear communication, and friendly service to make the process as uncomplicated as possible. To learn more, call Cohen Highley LLP. 

Get in Touch with Our Kitchener Wills and Estate Lawyers

You deserve to have your say about personal matters. That is why it is so important to work with a lawyer you can trust when dealing with issues related to wills and estates. Our wills and estate lawyers serving Kitchener pride ourselves in listening to the clients we represent and carrying out their wishes to the best of our abilities. 

To start planning for your future and your family’s financial security, contact Cohen Highley LLP and speak with our Kitchener wills and estate lawyers today.

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