Basics of Wills and Estate Planning 2023

Course Date: October 17, 2023

Full Course Materials
Total: 10h 54min
Total Ethics: 4h 30min
Tuesday, October 17
Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:10)
Nadia MyerthallProgram Lawyer, CLEBC, Vancouver
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 – 9:45)
The First Appointment (9:45 – 10:30)
  • 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. Romeral — Farris LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (10:30 – 10:40)
Essential Tax Considerations for Will and Estate Planners (10:40 – 11:30)
  • fundamental tax concepts
    • taxation of trusts
    • taxation of capital gains
  • inter vivos transfers and gifts
  • tax consequences on death
  • registered plans (RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs)
  • post-mortem planning strategies to minimize tax
Rebecca Cynader — Scion Law LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (11:30 – 11:40)
The Will (11:40 – 12:25)
  • property disposable by a will
  • preparing your standard will
  • drafting considerations
  • common drafting errors
  • technical requirements for formal execution
  • other planning tips and traps
Andrea E. Frisby — Farris LLP, Vancouver
Sarah JenkinsFarris LLP, Vancouver
LUNCH (12:25 – 1:05)
Lessons from the Future (1:05 – 1:50)
  • preparing your standard probate application
  • probate fees
  • time factors
  • implications for the estate plan
Mike Beishuizen — Westcoast Wills and Estates, North Vancouver
BREAK (1:50 – 2:00)
Essential Corporate and Business Succession Issues for Will and Estate Planners (2:00 – 3:00)
  • 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. Chen — Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Hardeep GillFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (3:00 – 3:10)
Using Mediation in an Estates Claim (3:10 – 4:00)
  • 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 points
Tara Britnell, KC — Hamilton Duncan Law Corporation, Surrey
Nicole GartonHeritage Law and Heritage Trust, West Vancouver
Wednesday, October 18
Welcome Back (9:00 – 9:10)
Eric B. ClavierFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
View from the Bench (9:10 – 9:40)
The Honourable Mr. Justice Jan Brongers — Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
BREAK (9:40 – 9:45)
Professional Conduct Issues in Wills and Estate Planning (9:45 – 10:50)
  • common complaints about lawyers in wills and estate planning
  • ways to avoid complaints
  • complaint process and responding to the Law Society
  • Law Society highlights and recent cases
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. AndersonDirector of Intake & Early Resolution and Practice Standards, Law Society of BC, Vancouver
Amy A. Mortimore, KC
— Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Maryanne ProhlDirector, Risk Management, Lawyers Indemnity Fund, Law Society of BC, Vancouver
BREAK (10:50 – 11:00)
The Use of Joint Tenancies and Beneficiary Designations in Estate Planning (11:00 – 12:05)
A. Joint Tenancies
  • planning opportunities
  • possible problem and pitfalls
  • "true" joint tenancies vs "false" joint tenancies
  • review of recent cases
J. Jeffrey Locke — McLellan Herbert Locke, Vancouver
B. Beneficiary Designations
  • insurance (life insurance, trusts)
  • TFSAs
  • RESPs
Nikki Hildebrand — Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Vancouver
LUNCH (12:05 – 12:45)
Lifetime Planning—Not Dead Yet! (12:45 – 1:25)
  • 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
  • trust planning for persons with disabilities
Zachary Murphy-Rogers — Clark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
Allison SharkeyClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver
BREAK (1:25 – 1:35)
The Use of Trusts in Estate Planning (1:35 – 2:35)
  • 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
  • commonly used testamentary trusts
    • spouse trusts
    • trusts for minors and young adults
    • trusts for disabled beneficiaries
  • some practical challenges in settling trust property
Fiona Hunter — Horne Coupar LLP, Victoria
BREAK (2:35 – 2:45)
Wills Variation Considerations (2:45 – 3:55)
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. Winters — Farris LLP, Vancouver
Closing Remarks (3:55 – 4:00)
Eric B. ClavierFasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Vancouver
Emily CloughClark Wilson LLP, Vancouver