Goluboff & Mazzei

Wills & Estates


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Wills & Estates

Estate planning is important for everyone. Through this process you can determine who will make choices about your end-of-life care, who will be guardian of your minor children if you pass away unexpectedly and who will be your asset beneficiaries. Even if you think your concerns are simple, when the issues are so important it is best to get the advice and guidance of a lawyer. Legal counsel will not simply fill out forms on your behalf; they will advise you on the best way to structure your estate to meet your personal and financial objectives.

Lawyers at Goluboff & Mazzei are West Vancouver estate counsel serving the Sea to Sky corridor, North Shore, Whistler and Squamish. Our geographic reach is broad and our knowledge is extensive. We have provided estate planning and estate administration services in B.C. for more than three decades.

Planning & Administration
Legal Services

Individuals have many legal options when it comes to estate planning. We will outline your options for wills and powers of attorney, and related documents such as representation agreements and living wills (advance directives). These can achieve such objectives as:

Granting authority to make legal and personal care decisions for you if you become mentally incapacitated
Determining your wishes for your medical care
Granting authority to make legal or financial decisions while you are mentally capable

In addition, we can discuss other estate planning tools such as trusts and provisions for dependants and persons with disabilities.

Our lawyers also offer probate and estate administration services. We help executors to fulfil their responsibilities to an estate and advise family members when a person died intestate (without a will).

Living Wills & Advance Directives

An advance directive became established in B.C. law in 2011. It is a written instruction to care providers and medical personnel to consent to, or refuse, medical treatment in the event you are incapable of expressing your wishes. If you have previously outlined your treatment directive in a document commonly known as a “living will,” it is advisable to have that document reviewed by a lawyer since the law has changed.

A lawyer can help you to decide if an advance directive is right for you. The lawyers at Goluboff & Mazzei maintain a broad wills and estates practice. We can help you to assess the legal tools that will meet your objectives for your health care.

Reasons For Establishing An Advance Directive

An advance directive outlines your wishes with regards to end-of-life health care. It is, in essence, your communication directly to your medical team. You may choose to have an advance directive if you have strong opinions about certain procedures or treatments. You may also want to express your wishes formally and not leave the decision up to the individual you designate under a representation agreement as the person with the authority over your care.

Since the implications of an advance directive have a direct impact on end-of-life health care decisions, it is important to ensure it is drafted correctly. It is also vital to understand how the document may be used, in particular if you have also named a person to make your medical decisions under a representation agreement. At Goluboff & Mazzei, we will take the time to analyze these documents with you and advise you on how to proceed given your preferences.

Choosing Powers Of Attorney

Powers of attorney are best prepared with legal advice. A lawyer can provide peace of mind that your estate documents will survive legal scrutiny and will give full effect to your wishes, both after your passing and for your end-of-life care.

At Goluboff & Mazzei, our experienced lawyers for wills and powers of attorney in West Vancouver can help you to understand and execute your legal options.

Benefits Of Choosing A Power Of Attorney

In British Columbia, a power of attorney can provide for a person or persons to handle financial and legal decisions. He or she can have broad powers or very limited authority. An attorney’s power ends once you are no longer mentally capable, unless you have signed an enduring power of attorney.

A power of attorney does not allow for medical or health care decisions on your behalf. An individual appointed under a representation agreement, however, can make legal, financial, personal and medical care decisions, depending on the scope of the agreement. Your intentions for your medical care can also be outlined in yet another document, an advance directive, which is provided to your care providers.

Providing Peace Of Mind For The Future

Appointing people to these roles, while you are still of sound mind, prevents financial and emotional strain on family members. If no attorney is named, and you become mentally incapable, a person will have to complete and file a committee application in the Supreme Court to appoint a person(s) to act on your behalf. This process costs several thousand dollars, and your family members may not agree on who should act in this role.

Probate & Estate Administration

When a loved one passes, dealing with the estate can be burdensome for family members. For the executor, the responsibilities are both legal and personal. The executor has a duty in law to act ethically and fulfil the wishes of the deceased person.

At Goluboff & Mazzei, our West Vancouver lawyers handle probate efficiently. It can normally be achieved within a reasonable time frame, and perhaps more quickly than if the executor attempted to do it independently.

Once probate is granted, we assist the executor with the full scope of his or her duties, affording the executor a measure of legal protection and peace of mind that the deceased’s intentions are met.

Benefits Of Legal Counsel For Estate Administration

The main benefit of having legal guidance when you act as estate executor is knowing that you are meeting your legal obligations. As experienced lawyers, we can help you to organize the assets of the deceased person, locate beneficiaries, file tax returns, liquidate assets, and distribute the estate assets and other duties. While this may seem manageable for you to do on your own, we can help remove some of the burden while you are grieving.

Our lawyers have been practising estates law in B.C. for more than 35 years. When it comes to precise and detail-oriented legal work such as estates administration, it is invaluable to have the guidance of a seasoned lawyer. We know what to expect, what challenges you may encounter and how best to meet your legal responsibilities.

Representation Agreements

Representation agreements are tools that permit you to grant someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. There are two kinds of representation agreements under B.C. law: a “section 7” agreement, which grants limited financial authority, and a “section 9” agreement, which grants authority over health and personal care decisions.

The law on representation agreements changed in 2011. If you have an existing representation agreement, it may be advisable to have it reviewed by a lawyer. If your estate planning process is just beginning, the lawyers at Goluboff & Mazzei can help you assess the potential benefits for you of a representation agreement.

Limitations Of Representation Agreements

A section 7 representation agreement can grant someone only limited financial authority. It may be for things such as paying bills, opening bank accounts, purchasing home insurance, filing income tax returns, converting RRSPs into RRIFs, retaining legal counsel and other matters. If you want to grant someone broad powers to take care of your finances or legal affairs, you must appoint that person as your attorney under a power of attorney.

A section 9 representation agreement gives someone the power to make choices about your personal care and health care. This agreement may be broad in scope or limited to only certain choices you permit the representative to make on your behalf. Consent for major or minor surgery, diagnostic testing, critical illness treatment and health care necessary to sustain life may all be part of a section 9 agreement if you choose. Some choices are not permitted to be a part of such an agreement; these exclusions can be discussed with your lawyer.

A section 9 agreement is distinct from an advance directive, also known as a living will, which outlines your wishes when it comes to your end-of-life health care.

Practice Areas

Civil Litigation

At Goluboff & Mazzei, most of our lawyers have over 20 years of practice experience. When representing clients in civil litigation issues, we put this experience to work.


Corporate Law

Goluboff & Mazzei's corporate and commercial business lawyers have acted for start-ups, social enterprises, entrepreneurs, local businesses, and non-profit organizations.


Employment Law

From termination to labour conflicts, work-related issues can be overwhelming. That is why when it comes to employment law, it is imperative to have skilled representation.


Family Law

Goluboff & Mazzei offers a range of family law services including parenting agreements, property and cohabitation, divorce, collaborative family law, and property division.



At Goluboff & Mazzei, we pride ourselves on our innovative approach to dispute resolution. We recognize the importance of filtering through the distractions and finding the root of the problem.


Personal Injury

If you have been injured, no matter what the cause, contact Goluboff & Mazzei on the North Shore for a free thirty-minute consultation to determine if you have a triable claim.


Real Estate Law

The West Vancouver real estate lawyers at Goluboff & Mazzei each have more than 20 years of experience advising clients from around the world on virtually all aspects of BC real estate law.


Wills & Estates

Our lawyers handle probate efficiently. It can normally be achieved within a reasonable time frame, and more quickly than if the executor attempted to do it independently.


Intellectual Property

We have extensive experience preparing and negotiating various commercial contracts, and advising clients in a range of business sectors, including expertise in the technology sector.


Contingency fee arrangements will be considered on some civil litigation cases.

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Goluboff & Mazzei
Suite #201 – 585 16th Street,
West Vancouver, BC, V7V 3R8

Goluboff & Mazzei