Basics of Wills and Estate Planning 2015


Course Date: January 29, 2015

Total: 10h 39min

Day 1: Thursday, January 29, 2015

Welcome and Introduction

James D. Baird — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver

Overview of Estate Planning

  • what is an estate plan?
  • what are the goals of estate planning?
  • what are the components of a typical estate plan?
  • foreign property
  • taxation
  • blended families
  • business succession
  • disposition on death chart

James D. Baird — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver

Role Play: The Interview Gone Wrong

Networking Break

The First Appointment

  • the role of the lawyer
  • preliminary information gathering
  • the client interview
  • difficult and/or challenging clients
  • blended families—who are your instructions from
  • post interview steps
  • file management

Kate S. Marples — Legacy Tax + Trust Lawyers, Vancouver

Essential Tax Considerations for Will and Estate Planners

  • fundamental tax concepts
  • lifetime transfers and gifts
  • tax consequences on death
  • registered plans (RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs)
  • the new testamentary trust rules
  • planning strategies to minimize tax

Richard Weiland — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver

Networking Lunch

The Will

  • property disposable by a will
  • preparing your standard will
  • drafting considerations
  • common drafting errors
  • technical requirements for formal execution
  • appointment of executors
  • other planning tips and traps

Laura West — Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP, Vancouver

Networking Break

The Basics of Probate and Estate Administration

A. Getting the Grant

  • preparing your standard probate application
  • special grants
  • keeping the registry happy
  • executor’s duties vs. lawyer’s duties

James D. Baird — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver
Kirsten E.H. Wharton — Brawn Karras & Sanderson, Surrey

B. How to Administer an Estate: From Collecting the Assets to Passing the Accounts

  • advising the personal representative
  • getting discharged
  • getting the clearance certificate

James D. Baird — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver
Kirsten E.H. Wharton — Brawn Karras & Sanderson, Surrey

How to Develop a Wills and Estates Practice

  • marketing and client development
  • skills development
  • pros and cons of focusing on a wills and estates practice
  • differences in practice in a large firm vs. boutique firm vs. starting your own firm
  • working with assistants and paralegals

Mike Beishuizen — Westcoast Wills and Estates, North Vancouver
Emily Clough — Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, Vancouver
Claire N. Wilson — Legacy Tax +Trust Lawyers, Vancouver


Day 2: Friday, January 30, 2015

Opening Remarks

James D. Baird — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver

Role Play: The Interview Gone Right

Solicitors' Negligence, Avoiding Claims, and Managing Client Expectations

  • reporting to client
  • possible problems and pitfalls
  • common claims made to the Lawyers Insurance Fund
  • the initial appointment/taking instructions
  • the engagement letter
  • drafting and executing the will
  • reporting and follow up
  • following a defensive practice

Joel M. Altman — Hammerberg Lawyers LLP, Vancouver
Roger D. Lee — Davis LLP, Vancouver

Networking Break

The Use of Joint Tenancies and Beneficiary Designations in Estate Planning

A. Joint Tenancies

  • planning opportunities
  • possible problems and pitfalls
  • "true" joint tenancies vs. "false" tenancies
  • fraudulent conveyances

Brendan Burns — Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver

B. Beneficiary Designations

  • insurance (life insurance, trusts)
  • RRSPs/RRIFs
  • RESPs
  • TFSAs

Valorie Pawson — Pawson Law, West Vancouver

Lifetime Planning—Not Dead Yet!

  • planning for incapacity with respect to financial affairs
  • planning for incapacity with respect to health care
  • dealing with incapacity where there is no plan

Maria T. Holman — Boughton Law Corporation, Vancouver

Lunch with Featured Speaker: "The Potential Impact of Mental Disorders on Testamentary Capacity"

Dr. Leslie J. Sheldon — Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Vancouver

The Use of Trusts in Estate Planning

  • how to choose the right trust: inter vivos or testamentary
  • essential components of a trust
  • the components of a well drafted trust
  • alter ego and joint partner trusts
  • trusts for minors and disabled beneficiaries

Fiona Hunter — Horne Coupar, Victoria

Wills Variation Considerations

A. Wills Variation Under WESA

  • changes from the repealed Wills Variation Act
  • time limits
  • notice provisions
  • certificates of pending litigation
  • spousal qualification
  • assessment of the legal obligation with the Family Law Act
  • reasons for disinheritance

B. Review of the Trend of Recent Variation Cases

  • extent of testamentary autonomy
  • competing claims by adult children
  • blended family (spouse versus children) claims
  • role of executor
  • in terrorem clauses
  • costs in litigation

Networking Break

C. Estate Planning Considerations

  • how to deal with disinheritance of a spouse or child in a will
  • memorandum of reasons
  • participation of spouse/child in estate planning estoppel
  • using the will as a ‘backup” to other estate planning
  • ethical issues related to planning to avoid variation claims

Annie H. Chen — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Helen H. Low, QC — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver

Questions, Comments, and Discussion