Bell Alliance is a community-based law firm that is committed to providing a personal approach to the law. For us “it is personal” and that means we believe we have an obligation to provide our clients with a broad range of services to support them through the good times (buying a home or starting a business) to the more challenging times (losing a loved one).
Our Estate Administration and Executor Services group is there for clients during these challenging times.
A frequent speaker on Wills and Estate Planning, Richard Bell always hears laughter when he tells his audience: “The only people who agree to be Executors are those who have never done it before.”
And as with all good humour, there is an underlying element of truth to the statement. Acting as an Executor or as an Attorney (under a Power of Attorney) can be a challenging undertaking. Most people lead busy lives that do not leave time for the time-consuming and complicated work of an Executor or Attorney. In addition to the work itself, the role creates expectations for family and friends and if those expectations are not met, personal relationships may suffer. All too often we see family and friends become estranged at a time when they are most in need of support from each other.
Bell Alliance will act as your Executor
In addition to advising on Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney and Representation Agreements, Bell Alliance is one of the few law firms in Vancouver that will act as a professional Executor, and in some cases, as Attorney. Having a professional act as an Executor or Attorney is often the best solution for clients who do not have a close friend or family member to appoint, or who wish to maintain family harmony and make life easier for family and friends. Our clients are often positively surprised and relieved to be able to name Bell Alliance as a primary or alternate Executor.
But which professional? Clients often face a myriad of choices when it comes to professional Executors. Most financial institutions have trust departments that can provide Executor and Power of Attorney services. These may be a good solution for some families as they have a large national infrastructure.
Bell Alliance is not a faceless institution – we provide a community based “personal approach” which we believe provides a worthwhile alternative.
If you are interested in our professional Executor services, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our Estates lawyers.
Bell Alliance provides legal support and advice to Executors
Probate is a very complex and time consuming process. If documents are prepared incorrectly, it can cause undue delay to the Estate administration process. The rigorous rules, extensive documentary requirements and strict deadlines can take a toll on an Executor, especially when they have their own work and family-life commitments. Once Probate is obtained, Executors are frequently unaware what steps they should be taking and how to approach the responsibilities of an Executor in administering an Estate. They may unwittingly expose themselves to liabilities from beneficiaries, creditors and other-third parties.
We take the burden off loved ones and create a tailored plan to make the Probate and administration process as stress-free as possible. Bell Alliance supports and advises Executors who need assistance with the Probate process or with administering the deceased’s Estate after Probate is obtained. Bell Alliance can help by preparing the application for Probate from start to finish so that Executors can proceed with wrapping up the Estate. Acting on behalf of an Executor means that we:
• maintain frequent contact with the Executor to ensure the Executor is aware and engaged every step of the way
• prepare all filings with the BC Supreme Court Registry and respond to inquiries for further evidence or information
• obtain information and documents from banks, government agencies, and other third parties
• pay Estate bills and expenses, safeguard assets and cancel utilities and other services and cards
• evaluate, collect and pool assets
• liaise with and make distributions to beneficiaries
• minimize liability to the Executor, including in relation to creditors and beneficiaries
• ensure personal and Estate tax returns are appropriately filed
Bell Alliance also assists Estate clients with title changes, transfers and sale conveyancing of real property. Our Executors also frequently ask us to assist them with updating their Wills and Estate plans. If you require assistance with Probate or administering an Estate, please contact one of our Estate lawyers today.