Wills & Estates
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
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
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
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
Probate & Estate Administration
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
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.
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.