What is a Trust?

Trust account

A large number of the folks we advise first walk in the door wanting to talk about “having a trust,” “making a trust,” “using a trust,” or having an “in-trust account.” In our experience, very few people arrive with much of an idea of what a trust actually is or the basics of how a trust operates. Fortunately, we enjoy explaining such things.

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Discretionary Trusts and Spendthrift Beneficiaries


Sometimes, one wants to leave an inheritance to a beneficiary, but the beneficiary is not a person to whom large sums of money or valuable assets can be safely given. In a previous article, we discussed using discretionary trusts to provide for someone with a disability who might lose their disability benefits if they inherit too much. This article will discuss a distinct but similar question: How can I leave an inheritance for someone who cannot manage money?

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Estate Planning for Minor Children

Without a will specifying that assets destined for minors are to be held in trust for those minors until they reach the age of majority, the personal representative of a deceased’s estate may be obliged to pay the shares of the estate due to those minors to an entity known as the Public Guardian and Trustee.

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What is Probate and Why is it Needed?

Probate law

Losing a loved one is a challenging experience, and dealing with the legal matters of their estate can add an additional layer of complexity. In British Columbia, when someone passes away, the process of administering their estate usually involves obtaining a document known as a “Grant of Probate.”

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In-Trust Accounts

Nearly every day, our clients pass along estate planning suggestions they have been offered by well-meaning bank staff, friends, neighbours, and the lovely gentleman who takes great care of the lawn.

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It’s Never “Just a Will”

We often hear some variation of the following: “I have a simple life and I want a simple will. Why are you asking for detailed information about my house(s), bank accounts, investments, life insurance, etc.?” In today’s post, we will provide a brief overview of why such information is so important for a lawyer asked to draft someone’s will.

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