Strathroy Wills and Estate Lawyers

After the death of a close relative, romantic partner, beloved friend, or business associate, people in mourning may find it difficult to face the tasks ahead of them. Bereaved family members, lovers, friends, and business partners are often overcome with grief and may require time to heal, emotionally, before engaging in any legal matters that may have arisen regarding the deceased’s estate. 

However, certain tasks require the immediate attention of grieving beneficiaries. When faced with tremendous personal loss, new and complicated processes, heightened emotions, and potential interpersonal conflicts about the division of property, the people left behind in the wake of a loved one’s death often struggle to cope with the enormity of their situations.

At Cohen Highley LLP, our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers know just how exhausting and overwhelming these situations can be. That is why our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy prioritize the emotional and financial well-being of the clients we represent. When offering legal assistance and guidance to grieving beneficiaries, we do our best to provide clear communication, cost-effective service, and amicable resolutions to any disputes that may arise.

Additionally, for those community members who wish to finalize their plans for the future, our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers can efficiently and expediently guide you through the process of estate planning. That way, you can rest assured that, should the unimaginable happen, your loved ones will be protected. 

To learn more about the services provided by our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy, contact Cohen Highley LLP today.

Estate Litigation

People who create valid wills before they pass away are referred to as “testators.” Some testators make promises to their family members, business colleagues, romantic partners, friends, and other parties throughout their lifetime. They might assure these parties that, in the event of their death, they will inherit a portion of their estate, a specific piece of property, or other kind of bequeathment. However, testators do not always follow through on their promises. Furthermore, some beneficiaries might be purposefully excluded from a testator’s will.

People who feel as though they have not been allocated the inheritance they are rightfully owed may have the right to pursue legal action to formally challenge the will. That said, not all neglected beneficiaries have the right to do so. 

In accordance with Ontario’s  Estates Act, a person may have legal grounds to challenge a will if:

  • 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 possibly more

Navigating estate litigation can be challenging for some people. Oftentimes, disputes over how a deceased person’s assets were divided occur between members of the same family. These conflicts can lead to more unrest within a grieving household, unearthing deeply personal and deeply rooted emotions in the process. 

Due to the sensitive, personal nature of these conflicts, it is important that you feel seen, heard, and supported by your legal representative. Our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy have experience advocating for the emotional and financial well-being of the clients we represent. At Cohen Highley LLP, we do our best to resolve all disputes over inheritances as expediently, efficiently, amicably, and inexpensively as possible. 

To review the details of your situation with our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers and learn how we may be able to represent your best interests while challenging a will, call Cohen Highley LLP’s local office. 

Estate Administration

Being designated as an estate trustee (also known as an “executor”) comes with a great deal of responsibility. If you have been pre-selected by a relative, friend, business associate, or other acquaintance to be their estate’s trustee, it is because they trusted you to carry out the tasks responsibly and fairly. 

That said, without working knowledge of  wills and estate administration, probate procedures, important deadlines, and other protocols, administering someone’s estate can be challenging and frustrating. This is especially true for estate trustees who had a close personal connection to the deceased. In addition to navigating their own grieving process, bereaved estate trustees are required to navigate the complex process of wrapping up an estate. And oftentimes, they do so without any proper legal support.

If you have been named as an estate trustee, our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy may be able to provide you with beneficial assistance. Thanks to our combined decades’ worth of experience in the field, our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers can confidently explain the duties of estate administration to you and may be able to provide you with support and assistance throughout the process of wrapping up the deceased’s estate. 

To go over the duties of an estate trustee and learn how our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy may be able to help walk you through this challenging experience, contact Cohen Highley LLP.

Estate Planning

No one enjoys thinking about difficult subject matter, especially related to their own end of life. However, taking responsible, decisive actions now can save both yourself and your family members unnecessary anguish in the future, should the worst-case scenario arise.

By designating powers of attorney for both your property and personal care, our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy can help ensure that you will be protected in the event of your incapacitation. 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. 

Moreover, in addition to helping you formalize your wishes regarding your own future, our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers can help you make decisions about your family’s financial security after your passing.

Many people delay the process of estate planning until it is too late. If someone dies before creating a valid will, they essentially forfeit their right to voice their opinion over how their assets will be divided among their beneficiaries. Instead, those decisions will be made in accordance with the province’s Succession Law Reform Act.

Although the system of dividing an estate as mandated by the Succession Law Reform Act is informed by the close living relatives of an intestate Ontarian (i.e., someone who has died before creating a will), the deceased’s specific wishes and opinions as to how their assets should be distributed among their beneficiaries will not be taken into consideration. Additionally, the estates of intestate individuals who have no next of kin will become the property of the provincial government. 

The only way to make sure that your estate is divided according to your wishes is to create a valid will. Our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers pride ourselves in providing friendly and efficient service to members of the community finalizing their last wishes. To get started today, call Cohen Highley LLP and schedule a consultation. 

Call Cohen Highley LLP to Discuss Your Situation

Any legal matter arising after the death of a loved one can be turbulent and emotional. Our wills and estate lawyers serving Strathroy have experience providing sympathetic, personalized, and effective legal solutions to local community members navigating a broad range of estate-related matters, including:

  • 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

To review the details of your situation with our Strathroy wills and estate lawyers, call Cohen Highley LLP today and book your initial consultation.

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