Our Services

Estate Stewards’ Clients have access to the following services


Now

  • We will assist you in getting a will in place 
  • We can act as an attorney for property or as an agent for your selected attorney.
  • We can help you to prepare for the future by gathering and storing key information in a virtual vault accessible when required by those you wish to have access.
  • We can act as your executor or as an agent to help your current executor.

In the Future

  • We will conduct periodic reviews of your will and estate plan to ensure nothing is overlooked.
  • We can get written into your will to act as your executor or an agent to your executor in the future.  
  • We ensure a seamless transfer of your estate, communicating with family members and any professionals along the way.

Legacy Planning

Wills

A will is a legal document that conveys your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of minor children in the event of your death.

It is vital that every adult have a will and that it is reviewed regularly by a professional so that it stays up to date.

Tax Planning and Trusts

Proactive tax and trust planning is about maximizing estate preservation against increasingly aggressive tax rules. A common view is that a trust is only for the very wealthy, or for very unique situations. The reality is that trusts and other planning structures are much more common than many people think, and have a variety of purposes.

Questions to consider…

  • Are you familiar with the various types of trusts that can be formed now?
  • Do you understand how a trust might benefit your family situation?
  • Are you confident that the legal structure and ownership of your assets now will result in minimizing taxes and maximizing effectiveness on your estate transfer?
  • Do you realize the value and unique features of a Henson trust for certain dependants?

We can help.

An estate professional can review with you the types of trusts that could apply to your individual or family situation and discuss why and how the particular legal structure would be helpful and minimize taxes now and in the future.

Document Organization

Having all of your key documents organized and stored securely is an absolute necessity. Too often executors and power of attorneys don’t know the location of key documents. 

Our virtual secure vault allows you and your professional team to access to key documents both during the preparation of your estate plan, as well as in readiness for future estate settlement services. This is a vital step that is rarely taken – even with the largest and most established trust companies. 

The secure, online virtual client vault allows for the seamless access of you and your professional team to your key documents such as your will, powers of attorney, property deeds, insurance policies etc. 

Preserving Family Harmony

Proactive estate planning by parents can go a long way in family harmony being preserved and their desires carried out.  However, the best plan, without the proper communication, is less than optimal. People often struggle with starting such a key conversation, but it is better to address concerns early on rather than let them linger.

 

Questions to consider…

  • Who are the people who need to understand your values and estate objectives?  Sometimes an Ethical Will allows you to communicate (in your own words) what is most important to you concerning your estate.
  • Are you clear on who the best person/people is/are for Power of Attorney for Property and Executor roles and have they been made aware of what is entailed and accepted the role?
  • Are you comfortable that your heirs are financially well-educated and sufficiently responsible to inherit the assets that are likely to be left to them?
  • Is the person that you have selected as Power of Attorney for Property or Executor able to promote effective and open communication within your heirs?

We can help.

A skilled estate professional can help you plan these important communications and be present at these meetings to assist with this communication so that family harmony is preserved now and in the future.

Risk Management

There are many risks to be considered while preparing an estate plan and managing affairs now and during the estate settlement stage. 

Questions to consider…

  • Have you identified the key risks that could impact your estate plan and the transition to your heirs and sought out mitigating tools?
  • Have you considered how insurance can effectively offset potential liability for those acting on behalf of your estate?
  • Do you understand all of your insurance policies and are you confident that they are all appropriate and up to date?

We can help.

An estate professional can help identify risks and cost-effective ways to offset them.  They can also analyze the possible future taxes on the estate transfer and discuss how insurance can provide the necessary capital to minimize the effect of these taxes on your estate.

Prepaid Funerals

The goal of Estate Planning for many is to lessen the stress placed on family and friends upon your passing.  A Prepaid funeral can be an option to achieve this.

If you are interested in prepaying for your funeral, then we can help you navigate the process and avoid the many hidden risks.

Philanthropic Strategies

Many people wish to support causes and organizations that are near and dear to their hearts. For those who have a desire to use their resources in this manner, there are strategies that can help them to do so effectively, both while they are living and on their passing. These strategies often allow for assets that would otherwise be taxed to be redirected as they choose.

 

Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney for Property

An appointed Attorney for property is someone you choose to manage your personal matters while you are still alive, and either temporarily, or permanently, unable to manage your own affairs. They do not need to be a lawyer, however, they should be someone you trust. Estate Stewards can assist you with attorney duties in one of the following two capacities: 

Agent to Attorney for Property

As an agent to the attorney for property an Estate Stewards’ representative acts as an advisor or coach to your original attorney. 

Acting as an Attorney for Property

A qualified Estate Stewards representative can also be appointed as your Attorney for property.

Management Plans

We can assist in creating a plan of action for how your attorney is to manage your finances. This includes everything from bank accounts, living situations, and  investments. It can be seen as a detailed life budget. 

Executor

Agent to the Current Executor (Estate Trustee)

Executors have been given fiduciary responsibility of managing someone else’s financial affairs after they have deceased. This can be an incredibly intensive process with many moving parts. Errors in this process can lead to personal financial and legal penalties for the Executor themselves. 

Estate Stewards is able to help. If you are feeling overwhelmed in the role of executor then a qualified Estate Stewards representative will be able to assist the executor, providing coaching and guidance and helping with as much or as little of the leg work as you would like. 

Probate Application (Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee) and Estate Information Returns (EIR)

Dealing with the courts and the required paperwork during the probate application process can be complex and confusing. Estate Stewards can help make the process seamless working with you and legal counsel to ensure that you are getting the best advice and guidance.

Professional Executor Services
Many people do not wish to burden their family or friends by appointing them as executor, or may not have qualified person capable of performing the Executor Duties. This is an overwhelming job. It can take, on average, 1-2 years to complete. A representative from Estate Stewards can be written into your will as your executor. In this role this representative will perform all the tasks necessary to settle your estate.
 

Trustee

Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust (sometimes referred to as a will trust or trust under will) is a trust which arises upon the death of the testator, and which is specified in his or her will. A will may contain more than one testamentary trust, and may address all or any portion of the estate.

Estate Stewards can help evaluate and set up the right trusts for your situation and if necessary act as a trustee. 

Inter-vivos Trust

In contrast to a testamentary trust,  an inter-vivos trust is created during the settlor’s lifetime. In some situations an inter-vivos trust may help avoid probate.

The Inter-vivos trust can be a great tax planning and legacy tool. Estate Stewards can help evaluate which trusts could be beneficial to your situation and if necessary act as a trustee. 

10 Four Seasons Place, Suite 401
Toronto, Ontario M9B 6H7

T: (905) 891-6051 ext. 1
Email: info@estatestewards.com

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