Wills and Estates

Wills & Estates

Wills & Estates is a complex area of the law. It begins with the right considerations during life time to ensure a will properly reflects the true intentions of the testator; avoids high taxation; and reduces the possibility of estate litigation. An estate is not solely the assets and liabilities that one leaves behind – it includes the assets and liabilities during one’s life time as well. Various instruments can be utilized to maximize your interest in a certain estate. Calling a lawyer to obtain general information is an excellent first step in understanding how you can protect this interest. Furthermore, establishing a rapport with a Wills & Estates lawyer ensures that you will not miss the strict deadlines in our estate litigation system. Ms. Soica provides advice and legal services in the following areas:

Will Drafting
Estate Administration
Estate Litigation
Power of Attorney

Will Drafting

Do you own assets?

Are you a concerned parent?

Do you care about your family, friends and/or charities?

If the answer to any of the above questions is “yes”, then you should have a will. The benefit of consulting a Wills lawyer goes far beyond that of what happens upon death. You have the opportunity to put your mind to your current financial situation and may actually decide to take certain steps during your life time as well.

Will drafting is a very complicated area of the law. Most clients assume that it is an easy process by which the lawyer writes down the clients’ desired asset distribution. Will drafting, however, requires much more than that in order to fulfill the true intentions of the testator.

In drafting your will, Roxana Soica spends time on many factors specific to your case, some of which include:

  • Proper client communication
  • Taking steps to determine testamentary capacity
  • Taking steps to inquire about undue influence and stress
  • Ensuring that  information gathered is accurate and complete: i.e. a client may think that they understand the ownership interest in an asset but, often times, they do not have the right to leave it to beneficiaries. To avoid this problem, changes can be made during the life of the client.
  • Statutory constraints on testamentary freedom
  • Possible support claims of dependants
  • Possible matrimonial property claims
  • Estate administration tax: this is the tax that must be paid on all assets that require probate
  • Income tax
  • Appointment of estate trustees
  • Laws of other jurisdictions: i.e. clients that own assets in other places
  • Children: custodians and guardians of property
  • Funeral and burial
  • Beneficiaries and alternative beneficiaries
  • Disposition of property
  • Family home and family cottage
  • Trusts and investment authorities
  • Perpetuity and accumulations

Estate Administration

What should you do if you are named an Executor in a Will?

In order to be able to dispose of the assets and fulfill your duties as an Executor, you should consult with a lawyer. Being an Executor brings on much responsibility and you should receive proper advice on what these responsibilities are. Not fulfilling these responsibilities may lead to problems from failing to comply with tax law requirements and lawsuits from beneficiaries.

Probating the estate or obtaining a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee is one of the first steps in fulfilling your duty as an Executor.

What should you do if you are NOT named an Executor in a Will OR there is no Will?

You should contact a lawyer immediately.  It is crucial to your case to act fast because other parties may apply for probate. This will render difficulty in accessing the assets of the Estate. The assets may have already been disposed of if a Notice of Objection is not filed.

Estate Litigation

Ms. Roxana Soica’s experience in Estate Litigation is that it is a difficult process for all parties involved. If you are experiencing issues, whether as a beneficiary, Executor, or someone who should have been a beneficiary and/or Executor, call Ms. Soica for a free consultation.


Trusts are a mechanism which can be used for many purposes:

  • Avoid taxes, including probate taxes
  • Care for minors and other dependants
  • Provide for your favourite charity
  • Safeguard your assets
  • And more.

Roxana Soica’s approach to estate planning includes having a discussion with the client about creating an inter vivostrust or a testamentary trust. Call Roxana for a free consultation: 416.723.6497.

Power of Attorney

What is a Power of Attorney?

The Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 governs substitute-decision making with respect to property and health. A Power of Attorney is signed during the life of the client and during a period that they are capable. This grants an appointed attorney the power to act on behalf of the grantor in the case of: 1) incapacity; and 2) capacity but grantor is not available to make decisions.

If you do not have a Power of Attorney during incapacity, you do not have control over the person that becomes the attorney. It will also involve a much more difficult and costly process.