(905) 775-3381

Practice Areas

Wills and Estates

A conversation that lasts a lifetime.

Estate Planning

Whether you are young or old, the importance of having a will in place should not be underestimated. At Evans de Vries Higgins we are determined to work with our clients to understand their estate planning goals and to ensure they make informed decisions.

After your passing, a properly drafted will can ensure that:

  • Your wishes are honoured;
  • Your executors are of your choosing;
  • Your estate passes to your intended beneficiaries;
  • Conflict between surviving family is minimized;
  • Tax costs are avoided or reduced; and
  • Probate is avoided or made more straightforward.

During your lifetime, properly prepared powers of attorney for property and personal care can ensure that those you trust are named to make decisions on your behalf.

To start, we give you an intake form to provide us with some basic information about you, your family, your finances and your property. This helps us to properly advise you with respect to your estate planning goals and to properly draft your documents. It also helps us establish that you had capacity in the event that your to make a will and/or powers of attorney were ever challenged.

Next, we set up an intake appointment with you either in person or over the phone.  We take instructions from you regarding your executors (i.e. those that will be in charge of administering your estate), your personal property, gifts and donations, your residue, the beneficiaries you wish to name (i.e. those that will inherit your estate), trusts, the timing of distribution, and appointment of a guardian in the event you have minor children.

After receiving your instructions, we prepare draft wills and/or powers of attorney for you to review. You are welcome to provide us with amendments.  Once the documents are to your satisfaction, we schedule a time for you to sign the documents at our office.

Estate Administration

When a family member passes away, we recognize it is a difficult time and we want to help.  At the outset, we conduct an intake with you to review the will (if any), determine whether you are a named executor or an appropriate estate trustee, and identify what work will be required to administer the estate.  We review the estate assets with you to determine whether or not probate is required.  Probate is the process in which an executor named in a will, or, when there is no will, a family member or friend of a deceased, applies to the court for a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee.

We routinely prepare probate court applications for estate trustee clients, send out the necessary notices to interested parties, and file the mandatory Estate Information Return with the Ministry of Finance.  Once a Certificate of Appointment is received from the court, we help our estate trustee clients realize the assets of the estate.  For instance, we help ensure bank and investment accounts are redeemed and closed, life insurance policies paid out, and that real estate is transferred to beneficiaries or sold to third parties.

We then assist our estate trustee clients with figuring out when and how to distribute estate assets and funds to beneficiaries.  Estate trustees may be personally liable if debts of an estate are not paid in full and estate trustees have a fiduciary duty to beneficiaries.  As a result, it is important to make sure that the distribution of the estate is done properly and in a timely manner.  We work with you to ensure that you are meeting your obligations and that you are protected in your role as estate trustee to the greatest extent possible.

Contact Us

21 Holland St. West

P.O. Box 190

Bradford, ON L3Z 2A8

Phone: 905-775-3381

Fax: 905-775-8835