The law firm of McIntosh & Pease is committed to providing high-quality legal services to our clients in Brantford and the surrounding regions. Throughout over 40 years of practice in these areas, we have continually upheld our ideals of professionalism and personalized client care.
We are dedicated to understanding our clients' objectives for building a plan for their assets and personal care. We invoke candor in our clients so we are best able to serve their needs and give them the best legal advice possible.
The backgrounds and experience of Jennifer Stebbing and our staff have allowed our practice to become focused on several key areas of law. Specifically, we practice in the areas of:
Estate Planning: We advise clients on the development of a comprehensive estate plan, including the creation of trusts and wills and appointing powers of attorney.
Estate/Trust/POA Administration: We advise trustees and attorneys for property on their administration duties and are often retained by them to handle the bulk of their work. Additionally, we regularly act as estate trustees and handle clients' affairs as their attorney for property. We also represent clients in dispute resolution proceedings that are not already in Court, or imminently heading there. Experience shows that we have been able to avoid Court by negotiating settlements most of the time. In the rare cases where this is not possible, we refer the clients to experienced litigation counsel.
Corporate: We advise small-business owners on their legal needs, including the creation of a succession plan as part of estate planning.
Real Estate: We advise clients on the purchase and sale of residential and vacation properties, both on a standalone basis and as a part of comprehensive estate planning and estate administration. We will advise on mortgages and refinancing of residential properties as well. We also review with clients Agreements of Purchase and Sale before acceptance to help ensure that no unexpected issues arise.
Estate planning is a detailed process designed to ensure your wishes are carried out as you age and eventually pass on. A proper estate plan should be comprehensive in its treatment of assets, with the intent to minimize taxes and probate fees and provide for the protection of loved ones.
One of the tools the lawyers at the firm use to minimize probate fees for high net worth clients, including those with shares in private operating and holding corporations, are Multiple Wills. We deal with the private company shares and shareholder loans, together with personal property and any real estate where probate is not required to deal with it, in a second Will, which is not probated. By using Multiple Wills, probate fees of 1.5 percent can be saved.
Our Brantford law firm of McIntosh & Pease provides excellent service for all of our clients' estate planning needs. Jennifer Stebbing is a Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law, and the majority of his practice is devoted to work in this area.
Creating a Comprehensive Estate Plan
Our firm offers clients not only the individual tools to meet their estate planning objectives but also advice on how best to use these legal mechanisms to their personal and financial advantage.
Among the tools we use to serve our clients' needs are:
Powers of attorney
Inter vivos trusts
Each individual has specific needs and objectives for his or her estate. As your legal counsel, our Brantford estate planning lawyers strive to make you feel comfortable with this process so you can speak openly about your financial and personal situation.
Brantford Estate Tax Planning Lawyers
To ensure our estate planning is as comprehensive for our clients as possible, we ask that potential clients itemize their assets and provide details about their heirs as part of a questionnaire that can be found on our client resources page. This information remains in confidence with us, and our clients' candor in this regard is fundamental for us to develop a plan for their specific needs.
Our Brantford law firm of McIntosh & Pease advises executors, also known as estate trustees, in the execution of their responsibilities. Our lawyers also act as the named executor of many estates in situations where we have been chosen for that role.
In addition to dispersing a testator's assets according to the terms of a will, an executor is responsible for paying the will maker's debts, filing taxes and wrapping up the day-to-day aspects of the deceased person's life, such as selling the residence and cancelling subscriptions.
We assist our clients in fulfilling the necessary responsibilities of estate administration, both in the immediate aftermath of a death and on an ongoing basis, if necessary. Our years of experience in estate planning and administration make us highly qualified to advise clients on their responsibilities to the estate as well as their personal liability if they fail to meet their obligations.
Our lawyers currently act as estate administrators in many estates. In the event that you do not wish to appoint a loved one to be your executor, or if you have been appointed administrator and wish to decline the duty, our lawyers can be appointed to handle this role. Even in cases where our lawyers are not appointed as executors, our experience is that about 90 percent of the time our firm is retained by the executor to handle most if not all of the executor's work. The firm has three estates clerks who help the lawyers administer the current workload of approximately 50 estates.
In addition to our estate administration work, we also advise heirs and beneficiaries about their rights regarding the estate and represent their interests in dispute resolution proceedings.
Advising Attorneys for Property
Similarly, our lawyers assist our clients in fulfilling the necessary responsibilities of handling the affairs of a family member or friend who has appointed them as attorney for property. A power of attorney for property can be triggered by incapacity or upon receipt of written instructions from the donor to the firm to release the POA property to the appointed party so they can start handling their affairs. Our years of experience in estate planning and administration make us highly qualified to advise clients on their responsibilities to the estate as well as their personal liability if they fail to meet their obligations.
Our lawyers currently handle the affairs of several clients as their attorneys for property. In the event that you do not wish to appoint a loved one to be your attorney for property, our lawyers can be appointed to handle this role.
Local Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate Dispute Resolution
Our Brantford law firm of McIntosh & Pease is committed to advising clients on the method of resolution best for them in the midst of an estate or power of attorney dispute. Our role as counsel is to inform beneficiaries about their entitlement and rights and to offer an opinion as to whether a litigation proceeding is in their best interest.
Offering High-quality Advice on Estate Disputes
Beneficiaries of an estate or dependents who have been left out of a will or who did not receive a fair share of the estate may question their entitlement to certain assets and privileges associated with the estate. Our lawyers will use our knowledge of estates and trusts law to advise on whether a potential settlement is appropriate, as well as our relationships with estate litigators to advise as to the appropriateness of a court action and the associated costs.
Once our clients are armed with the appropriate information, we will perform mediation services to help them resolve their estate disputes outside of a courtroom proceeding. Our client-focused practice has, at its core, a dedication to providing the information clients need to make important decisions. We have no incentive to encourage our clients to go to court for a lengthy and expensive litigation proceeding; we use our knowledge and negotiation skills to secure the results our clients need and desire.
Brantford Estate Mediation Lawyers
Our practice is largely focused on estate planning and administration legal services, and our experienced legal counsel have worked in this area for decades. This acquired knowledge and skill supplement the high-quality advice and representation we provide to our clients.
We provide specialized support and assistance for specific court proceedings that arise in Estates and Trusts. These include the following:
Estate trustee during litigation: If the estate is in court and you need an estate trustee during litigation, our firm offers those services. Our experience and specialization make our firm the right choice when estates are being litigated about.
Section 3 counsel: If you are in court and the court wants to appoint a lawyer for you, we can offer those services.
Guardianships: We have over 10 years of experience in applying for guardianship. Whether it is a simple file or a complex family issue, we are here to help.
Passing of accounts: Do you need to account for your work as an estate trustee or power of attorney? We can assist you with this. We can also assist with the review of accounting.
At our Brantford law firm of McIntosh & Pease, we advise small-business owners on their everyday business needs. As a complement to our estates planning practice, we also help small-business owners plan for a time when an ownership transition or sale is necessary.
Helping Businesses Succeed
Our firm's boutique size allows us to devote personal attention to each of our clients. Our corporate legal services include:
Maintaining corporate records
As experienced corporate and estates lawyers, we are well qualified to advise on the transition of ownership to other family members either during life or within a testamentary document.
Brantford Business Lawyers
Our Brantford law firm of McIntosh & Pease advises clients in the purchase or sale of a residential real estate property in urban, rural and recreational settings. Our counsel has more than 40 years of experience in representing clients in real estate transactions and consistently use their knowledge to assist clients in this area.
Advising and Executing Residential Real Estate Transactions
For most individuals, the purchase of a residential property is the largest asset acquisition they will ever make. This property can therefore feature prominently in a family's overall estate plan for the future, including the disposition of that property upon death. As seasoned lawyers in this area, we can advise you on all issues that may arise within a purchase or sale and take the time to discuss with you the fundamental details of your agreement to buy or sell a residential property.
Brantford Residential Property Lawyers
Our highly qualified estates planning lawyers are equipped to handle our clients' real estate transactions on both a standalone basis and in the context of a broader estate plan or the administration of an estate. Our ability to network with professionals in the areas of mortgages financial planning, accounting and insurance supplements our legal knowledge and allows us to draw upon the knowledge of a team of individuals to benefit our clients.