Wills, Estates & Trusts

Practice Areas

We are proud to offer our clients a wide range of legal services that include the following:

  • Business Law
  • Corporate / Commercial and Estate Litigation
  • Family Law and Litigation
  • Personal Injury, ICBC, Wrongful Death
  • Real Estate Law
  • Wills, Estates & Trusts

Our Wills, Estates & Trusts team includes Steve Burton, Gene Fraser and Scott Payne.

CBM has been handling estate matters for clients with dedication, commitment, integrity and discretion since 1977. Our team offers quality legal services that help you protect your family through effective planning. Our services include:

  • Estate Planning & Wills
  • Representation Agreements
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Probate and Estate Administration
  • Estate Litigation
  • Trusts

Estate Litigation

Our team works closely with our Corporate, Commercial and Estate Litigation group to represent clients in estate disputes. If you have an issue with how an estate is being administered or with how assets are being distributed or you believe you’ve been left out of a relative’s will unjustly and you want more information about the legitimate grounds for challenging a will, you may wish to find out more about our Estate Litigation services.

Watch our Estate Litigation 2-part video series


  Services for Individuals

Estate Planning and Wills

It is estimated that ¼ of all B.C. voters do not have a will. Given that the average house value in Metro Vancouver is benchmarked to be at $1.3 million, your home or other assets could be subject to many thousands of dollars in unplanned estate transfer taxes and probate fees. Many more people have wills that are now outdated, due to recent changes in wills & estate law, changes in assets, or changes in the age and status of their dependents.

An updated will, or a review of your current will, ensures that your wishes will be fulfilled, and that your assets are transferred appropriately. Proper planning can also help to minimize unnecessary tax implications of asset transfer on death.

An up-to-date will and professional advice also makes an executor’s job easier and can protect them from personal liability.

Representation Agreements

You may not always be able to make your own health care decisions. A Representation Agreement is an agreement that allows you to name one person, or multiple people, to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to make them for yourself. A Representation Agreement ensures that you know, and approve of, the person or people who will be making your crucial health care decisions on your behalf. A Representation Agreement is an important pre-planning tool, because once you’ve lost the ability to make decisions on your own, you’re no longer able to name someone to make them on your behalf. Our Wills and Estate Planning team can assist you in preparing a Representation Agreement while you have the capacity to do so.

Enduring Powers of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to name one person, or multiple people, to manage your financial affairs if you are not able to manage them on your own. Just as with a Representation Agreement, creating an Enduring Power of Attorney ensures that only those whom you have given the authority will handle your financial affairs. As you cannot grant a Power of Attorney without the requisite mental capacity, contact our Wills and Estate Planning team to assist you in preparing an Enduring Power of Attorney before something unforeseen happens.

Probate and Estate Administration

We provide advice and assistance to executors and trustees as necessary to perform the duties required in administering estates and transferring property to beneficiaries. In many cases, one meeting is often sufficient to cover the list of your responsibilities.

Estate Litigation

Our Services in Estate Litigation include:

  • Contesting the validity of a Will
  • Varying a Will under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act
  • Estate Administration Disputes
  • Committeeship Applications
  • Breach of Duty Claims under a Power of Attorney or Representation Agreement
  • Trust Litigation Involving Ownership of Assets
  • Our Estate Litigation team includes Gene Fraser, Jon Goheen, Steve Burton, John Campbell and Scott Payne.
We advise clients on matters involving contested estates. In these situations time limits are often critical, so if issues concerning the administration of an estate or distribution of assets to beneficiaries arise, call us as soon as possible. We advise and represent clients in estate litigation matters including actions to contest or vary a will, estate administration disputes or other disputes involving the Wills, Estates and Succession Act or the Estate Administration Act, and trust litigation involving ownership of assets, such as bank accounts and real property.

In the event that court proceedings are necessary, we are equipped to handle contested estate matters either in the courts or through mediation.

Trusts

We are also experienced in setting up trusts. Trusts are financial structures that enable a third party or trustee to hold and manage assets on behalf of beneficiaries to a will. Trusts are helpful in allowing beneficiaries to assets more quickly than they might through probate. Trusts are also helpful when you would prefer your beneficiaries receive assets under guidance – perhaps due to their age. Trusts can also have favorable tax benefits.

Our Wills, Estates & Trusts Team

How can we help?

Please fill out the following form and one of our staff will contact you.

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Disclaimer: Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form. If you have an urgent matter please call 604-533-3821. Please note that using this form for communication with the firm or a CBM lawyer does not create a solicitor-client relationship.

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Wills, Estates and Trusts Testimonials

Steven was fantastic, a real down to earth guy. I’ve dealt with other lawyers in my past, but never anyone like Steve. Thank you.

R.V. (Aldergrove)

Jeff Zilkowsky…is a very kind and thoughtful lawyer. Jeff also is organized and knows how to get things done in a timely fashion. When it comes to the courtroom, he knows what to say and makes sure that his i's are dotted and his T's are crossed. Nothing gets over looked. Jeff does not beat around the bush when it comes to your case. He is upfront and truthful and real good at explaining things in language you can understand. He also knows how to reassure his clients when things get tough. One of the best things about Jeff is that he is humble and down to earth. Jeff maybe young but he has accomplished a lot when it comes to his career. You can tell he loves what he does because he makes it look so easy. I highly recommend Jeff Zilkowsky, you will not be disappointed.

N.L.S.

Douglas was very thorough and prompt in the handling of my affairs. I would not hesitate to use his services in the future and would recommend him as well.

D.S. (Langley)