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The Aird & Berlis Estates & Trusts Group provides comprehensive estate and trust services, specifically in the areas of estate and succession planning, cross-border planning, estate and trust administration, trust and estate litigation, charity law and related areas of tax law. The Group is presently comprised of seven lawyers and one law clerk.

In the context of our planning work, we employ many techniques, including the use of multiple wills, testamentary and inter vivos trusts, nominee ownership, rights of survivorship, domestic contracts, powers of attorney for property and for personal care, and charitable giving, designed to meet the specific needs and planning objectives of our clients and to minimize taxes. We draw upon the expertise and depth of our Tax Group as required. We also work with tax and estate advisors in other jurisdictions where there are foreign assets or foreign citizenship issues.

We routinely advise fiduciaries (i.e. executors, trustees, guardians and attorneys) on the administration of estates and trusts, offering guidance on the nature and scope of their duties. We also assist those fiduciaries with the passing of their accounts.

Our litigators act in a wide range of estate and trust related disputes, representing clients in claims involving challenges to the validity of wills, trusts or powers of attorney; claims arising in the administration of estates and trusts; equalization claims under the Family Law Act; dependant support relief claims under the Succession Law Reform Act; claims against executors, trustees and attorneys for breach of trust; applications to the Court for advice and direction; proceedings to appoint, remove or replace trustees and guardians; applications to vary trusts and wills; and passing of the accounts of executors, trustees and attorneys.

The nature of our practice is diverse and our clients include:

  • business owners and their families
  • executors and trustees
  • persons with foreign citizenship or immigrating to or emigrating from Canada
  • beneficiaries of trusts and estates, including non-resident beneficiaries
  • professional fiduciaries, including banks and trust companies
  • charitable foundations and organizations

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