If a loved one has passed, you’ve probably heard of the term “probate”. We can help minimize your stress by taking you through the steps of managing the deceased person’s affair and guiding you through the process in court to ensure their testamentary wishes are carried out. If you are thinking about your own will, you should know that estate planning is more than just writing a will. The kind of planning that protects you and your beneficiaries usually involves creation of a trust – a tool that is not available to BC Notaries. BC Notaries are only allowed to write you a simple will that disposes of property immediately upon death: like when you say, “upon my death, my spouse gets the house”. But it turns out there is more “life” after death! What if your spouse remarries or has new children who could then have their own claim to the house? What if you want one of your beneficiaries to reach a certain age beyond just the age of majority before they can access their inheritance? And what if one of your beneficiaries is handicapped, in significant debt, or just not good with managing money? The solutions to all these issues involve creation of a trust – either during your life or within your will, or a combination of the two. Remember, by law, BC Notaries are not permitted to create a trust. This restriction could essentially rob you from the chance to have a will that actually represents your wishes. We strive to tell you what you didn’t even know that you didn’t know. First, we ask you for information through a comprehensive questionnaire. Then we help you assess different options based on tax implications. We also tell you what in your will can be challenged after your passing, and your options for minimizing that risk. You get what you pay for. In estate planning, your will is probably the most important document you will ever write. Who will you trust with that undertaking?