Basics of Wills and Estate Planning 2021

Course Date: November 24, 2021

Full Course Materials
Total: 11h 16min
Total Ethics: 2h

Wednesday, November 24

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:10)

Eric B. ClavierFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver

Overview of Estate Planning (9:10 – 9:40)

  • what is an estate plan?
  • what are the goals of estate planning?
  • what are the components of a typical estate plan?
  • specific issues to be considered
    • foreign property
    • multiple wills—probate?
    • taxation
    • blended families
    • First Nations wills
  • remote witnessing

Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver

BREAK (9:40 – 9:55)

The First Appointment (9:55 – 10:55)

  • the role of the lawyer
  • preliminary information gathering
  • the client interview
  • difficult and/or challenging clients
  • assessing capacity and undue influence
  • post interview steps

Isabel L. RomeralFarris LLP, Vancouver

BREAK (10:55 – 11:10)

Essential Tax Considerations for Will and Estate Planners (11:10 – 12:10)

  • fundamental tax concepts
    • taxation of capital gains
  • lifetime transfers and gifts
  • tax consequences on death
  • registered plans (RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs)
  • taxation of trusts
  • planning strategies to minimize tax

Blair P. DwyerDwyer Tax Law, Victoria

LUNCH (12:10 – 12:50)

The Will (12:50 – 1:50)

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

Sonali SharmaAthena Law, Vancouver

BREAK (1:50 – 2:05)

Lessons from the Future (2:05 – 2:45)

  • preparing your standard probate application
  • probate fees
  • time factors
  • implications for the estate plan

Mike BeishuizenWestcoast Wills and Estates Law Corporation, North Vancouver

BREAK (2:45 – 3:00)

Essential Corporate and Business Succession Issues for Will and Estate Planners (3:00 – 4:00)

  • overview 
  • estate freeze basics
    • why does an estate freeze?
    • s. 85 and other tax deferral provisions
    • valuations
  • practice tips for estate freezes 
    • best practices
    • working with accountants
    • conflict issues
  • going beyond the corporate legal and tax issues
    • how to raise and discuss soft issues with clients
    • dealing with family dynamics
    • managing and coordinating personal and corporate planning for clients
    • practical considerations for client's business and family

Annie H. ChenFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Hardeep GillFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver\

Thursday, November 25

Welcome Back (9:00 – 9:05)

Eric B. ClavierFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver

Professional Conduct (9:05 – 10:05)

  • common complaints about lawyers in wills and estate planning
  • ways to avoid complaints
  • complaint process and responding to the Law Society

Avoiding Claims: Common Pitfalls and Tips to Avoid Them

  • management of clients and others
  • performance of work
  • retention of lawyer's file
  • ethical and practice issues
  • Lawyers Indemnity Fund and the policy
  • common risks of error

Carolyn R. AndersonManager, Professional Conduct, Law Society of BC, Vancouver
Amy A. MortimoreClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Megan SwailLawyers Indemnity Fund, Law Society of BC, Vancouver

BREAK (10:05 – 10:20)

The Use of Joint Tenancies and Beneficiary Designations in Estate Planning (10:20 – 11:20)

A. Joint Tenancies

  • planning opportunities
  • possible problem and pitfalls
  • "true" joint tenancies vs "false" joint tenancies
  • review of recent cases

Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver

B. Beneficiary Designations

  • insurance (life insurance, trusts)
  • TFSAs
  • RESPs

Nikki HildebrandNorton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Vancouver

BREAK (11:20 – 11:35)

Lifetime Planning—Not Dead Yet! (11:35 – 12:15)

  • planning for incapacity with respect to financial affairs
  • planning for incapacity with respect to health care
  • dealing with incapacity where there is no plan
  • POA, representation agreement, advance directive, living will

Geoffrey W. WhiteGeoffrey W. White Law Corporation, Counsel, Clark Wilson LLP, Kelowna and Vancouver

LUNCH (12:15 – 12:55)

The Use of Trusts in Estate Planning (12:55 – 1:50)

  • how to choose the right trust: inter vivos or testamentary
  • constituting a trust
  • components of a well drafted trust
  • commonly used inter vivos trusts
    • spouse trusts
    • alter ego and joint partner trusts
    • bare trusts
  • commonly used testamentary trusts
    • spouse trusts
    • trusts for minors and young adults
    • trusts for disabled beneficiaries
  • the impact of the Land Owner Transparency Act on trust planning

Fiona HunterHorne Coupar LLP, Victoria 

BREAK (1:50 – 2:05)

Wills Variation Considerations (2:05 – 3:05)

A. Recent Wills Variation Cases

  • what constitutes "adequate provision"
  • reasons for disinheritance
  • competing claims by adult children
  • competing claims between spouse and children
  • blended family claims
  • role of executor
  • costs

B. Wills Variation and the Family Law Act

  • spousal qualification
  • the assessment of the legal obligation under the Family Law Act
  • family property and excluded property
  • competing claims

C. Wills Variation and Other Estate Claims

  • wills variation and proof of will proceeding
  • wills variation and resulting trust claims
  • procedure for bringing all claims at the same time

D. Impact of Wills Variation on Estate Planning

  • effective use of a will in contentious circumstances
  • memorandum of reasons
  • ethical issues relating to planning to avoid variation claims

Eric B. ClavierFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Amanda N. WintersFarris LLP, Vancouver

BREAK (3:05 – 3:20)

Using Mediation in an Estate Claim (3:20 – 3:55)

  • being an effective advocate in mediation
  • communication, valuation, and taxation
  • skillful negotiation—informed not haphazard or ritualistic
  • yes! mediation can settle that nightmare case
  • key ethical point

The Honourable Sandra K. BallanceMediator, Vancouver

Closing Remarks (3:55 – 4:00)

Eric B. ClavierFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver