FAQ

Below you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions asked by our clients.

Do you represent clients from Vancouver area only?
We act for clients in all areas of British Columbia and beyond. Many of our clients are foreign nationals with interests in British Columbia, or persons living in other parts of Canada requiring assistance with businesses, properties, or estates within British Columbia.

What is a full list of legal services you provide?
We assist clients with the sale, purchase, and operation of all aspects of their business, including employment, leasing, disputes, and contracts. We also help clients structure their companies in a way that is most tax-advantageous.
For our individual clients, we assist with the sale, purchase and refinancing of their properties, the preparation of their estates and estate planning, along with a myriad of other services. Even for matters that may not be of a legal nature, we often assist our clients with finding the right solution for their challenges and opportunities alike.

What is a will?
A will is a document whereby a person sets out how their possessions will be divided upon their death, and provides an opportunity for parents to state who they wish to be the guardian(s) of their minor children.

What is an estate?
An estate is comprised of all a person owns or controls. Generally, the important time period here is the time of the person’s death, as the estate is then passed on in accordance to the deceased’s wishes, assuming they have drafted a valid will.

When can I change my will?
A will can be changed at any time by the testator or testatrix provided that he/she is of sound mind, and has competency to make a change.

What is an executor?
An executor or executrix is the person whom the testator or testatrix (the maker of the will) chooses to take charge of a deceased estate upon their death. The executor is charged with assembling the assets of the diseased, and distributing them in accordance to the will.

What is Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a document created by statute which allows a person to transfer to another person of their choosing the capacity to act for them in a financial and transactional capacity. Powers transferred by a Power of Attorney can be restricted in several ways in accordance to the wishes of the person giving the power of attorney.

What happens if I die without a will?
A person who dies without a will is said to die intestate. Contrary to popular belief, these persons’ assets do not “go to the government”. However, they are distributed in accordance with legislation, currently the Estate and Administration Act of British Columbia.

At what age can a person make a will?
A person can draft a will upon obtaining the age of majority, currently 19 in British Columbia.

What is a living will?
A living will is a document that is not prescribed by legislation. A living will is usually used by a person to state their medical wishes which should be used in the event this person is unable to make their own medical decisions.

What is Probate?
Probate is the process by which a deceased person with a valid will has their assets distributed in accordance with their will. In this regard, it is a court-sanctioned process designed to ensure the wishes of the deceased are followed as well as the applicable laws conformed to.

How much does it cost to probate a will?
The cost of probating a will varies with the size and complexity of the estate of the deceased. Currently in BC, probate fees are assessed at a maximum of 1.4% of an estate value. That is to say that at no time will an estate pay more than 1.4% of its value in probate fees.

Is a new will necessary when you get married or divorced?
Currently, marriage does revoke a will absolutely, and therefore a new will is required subsequent to a person marrying. A divorce renders any gift to the former spouse invalid. However, new legislation may change these presumptions, and therefore anybody who experiences a life change such as a marriage or divorce is advised to seek legal advice with regards to what changes this may cause to their estate plan.