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Hamilton Wills and Estates Lawyer

Don’t wait to plan for your future until it’s too late. Get in touch with a wills and estates lawyer in Hamilton.

Matt Lalande has not only obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for accident victims over the past fifteen years, but he has also assisted many of his clients with planning their estates after settlements. Lalande & Company Lawyers is happy to now offer affordable estate planning services to new clients.  

We believe that making a will does not have to be complex, nor does it have to be expensive. A simple estate plan, which is necessary for most families or couples with children, does not have to be a financial burden or unaffordable.

It does not have to cost thousands of dollars to put together a simple and proper estate plan to determine what happens to your assets or wealth upon death. A proper estate plan should be affordable and readily accessible for every family with children or assets in the event of unexpected death. For the help you need, call a Hamilton wills and estates lawyer at our firm.

Young Family? Protect Your Minor Children

A common concern young parents have is what will happen to their minor children if they, as parents, unexpectedly die. Every family should designate a person they love and trust as guardian or alternate guardian for their minor children. If something happens to you as a single parent or to both parents, you need to ensure that your minor children have the necessities of life, including medical care, food, clothing, and shelter.  

The Children’s Law Reform Act sets out the process that must be followed in appointing a guardian for your minor children. We always suggest that you should appoint a guardian you love and trust—and someone who is the proper age, someone who is familiar with the children, and someone who will not uproot them and take them away from their social situation, activities, and school system.

Appointing a guardian in your will is only binding for ninety days. After that, the intended guardians should bring a court application seeking to be permanently appointed. When that happens, your wishes and intentions will be made known to the court. Although anyone making a will should know that your intentions with respect to guardianship won’t necessarily be determinative, your wishes will no doubt give importance to the proceedings.  

Estate Planning in Hamilton Does Not Need to Be Expensive

People often have the misconception that planning their estate needs to be expensive—in reality, that is not the case. Estate planning is a necessity and should be within financial reach of anyone who has children and/or assets.

A simple estate plan and will can be drafted inexpensively in Hamilton for most people who simply need to plan how their assets will be distributed upon their death, communicate their wishes concerning funeral arrangements, and designate guardianship of their minor children.

Everyone Should Have a Will and Estate Plan

If you haven’t planned out this part of your life, you aren’t alone. Many Canadians put off putting together an estate plan for various reasons.

But remember—if you do not have a will, you will have no say about who takes care of your children if you die, leaving it up to your family to figure it out. You will not name a person you trust to carry out your wishes, and your assets will probably not be distributed as planned.

How Will You Make Decisions if You Become Sick or Hurt?

Powers of attorney are also useful tools in estate planning. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf with respect to your property or personal care decisions. (In this context, an “attorney” does not mean lawyer.)

The powers of attorney identify those you appoint to step into your shoes and handle a wide variety of issues on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. The documents provide mechanisms for you to maintain some element of control over the administration of your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.   

There are two types of continuing powers of attorney: powers of attorney for personal care and health and powers of attorney for property. If you become incapable of managing your affairs, a person you have chosen will be able to pay your bills, continue your affairs, and make decisions concerning your health and wellbeing.  

Powers of attorney are normally part of an estate plan, but from time to time, they are required on their own. By having our Hamilton estates and wills lawyers draft your power or attorney, you can decide, while you have the capacity, who will act for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself. We can help you understand the complexities of the different powers of attorney and draft the appropriate power of attorney to fit your needs. 

Will and Estate Planning in Hamilton

In Ontario, the will of the deceased person could be challenged as invalid under certain circumstances. For heirs and beneficiaries who have standing and feel their interests have been undercut or that they have suffered losses, there are grounds which can be cited as the basis for a challenge, such as the following circumstances:

  • That a testator lacked capacity to make a will
  • That the formal requirements for the execution of a will were not met
  • That the will was revoked
  • That the deceased did not know and/or approve of the contents of the will
  • That the testator did not have the capacity to make the will in question
  • That undue influence was exercised against the testator
  • That the will was conditional, but the conditions had not been met

In addition, certain dependents may effectively challenge a will by applying to a court for maintenance out of an estate on the basis that adequate provisions were not made for them.

A will and estate lawyer in Hamilton can help with challenging the validity of wills, undue influence, dependent support claims, and claims by common-law spouses. We can also assist with passing of accounts, guardianship applications, capacity disputes, and trustee disputes.

Voted One of Canada’s Best Lawyers in 2018

Matt Lalande was voted by his peers as one of 2018’s Best Lawyers in Canada. Matt has chaired, written, and spoken on over 100 different occasions for leading newspapers, magazines, legal publications, and law conferences, as well as for the Canadian Defence Lawyers and Ontario Orthopaedic Surgeon annual conference and general meeting. He has also presented at several orthopaedic surgeon educational dinners.

Speak with a Wills and Estates Lawyer in Hamilton

Lalande & Company Lawyers help families throughout the Golden Horseshoe. If you require affordable estate planning services done right, please contact our law firm by filling out the online contact form below or calling us today.

If you are a beneficiary who is concerned about the validity of a will or you wish to challenge its provisions or the capacity of the testator, we would be happy to explain your rights and options to you. Give us a call at 905-333-8888 or 1-833-4-LAWFIRM or fill out the form below to speak with a Hamilton wills and estates lawyer.