Will your family fight after you’re gone?

Naturally people think that they should be entitled to this or be entitled to that and it really brings out the worst in people when everybody's trying to get a piece of the pie.”

The best way to protect your loved ones and to give yourself peace of mind in the face of life’s uncertainties is to plan ahead. Planning your estate enables you to reduce your family’s stress and grief, minimize probate fees, protect family wealth, and address tax consequences. It also gives you security so that you can relax without the stress of worrying about whether your family is going to be taken care of properly.

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“The number one reason for planning ahead is to save costs,” says Nima Rohani,an Associate at Victoria based estate specialist McConnan Bion O'Connor & Peterson. “A lot of people are turned off by coming to a lawyer’s office to plan ahead because they have to pay these upfront costs, even though they're not that expensive. But what happens is that they end up paying doubly at a later date when something horrible happens and they have to get lawyers or even the Court involved. It causes a lot more work, a lot more frustration and stress. It ends up being triple or quadruple the price it would have been if you would have come in from the beginning and had it organized from day one.”

Making a Will is just one part of the planning you should have in place. Things like owning businesses, multiple properties, second marriages, dependent adult children and divorce are all things that need to be takeninto considerationas part of a comprehensive estate plan. That’s why it’s vital that you get the expert advice that you need to ensure that every eventuality is accounted for. It’s also important to make sure your estate planning documents are up-to-date and continue to reflect your circumstances and wishes.

Nima Rohani

"Most people think their family gets along well and they're on great terms with everybody, but I've seen it happen time and time again where someone dies, let's say a last surviving parent who now owns a large business or multiple properties, and there's no Will in place. Naturally people think that they should be entitled to this or be entitled to that and it really brings out the worst in people when everybody's trying to get a piece of the pie. Inevitably relationships can break down and rifts can form over the simplest things. I've seen it happen and watched as family members, siblings even, just stop talking to each other over this.”

That’s where the expert guidance of a specialist lawyer comes in. But when it comes to something as important as your family’s future, how do you find the right person for the job?

“Do your homework,” advises Rohani. “I would say the number one thing that you should look for in a lawyer is integrity. You want someone that you can work with that you trust. You want to make sure that you have somebody that's absolutely acting in your best interests and not just worried about the fees and how they're going to make money off of you. And that's something that we pride ourselves on here at McConnan Bion O'Connor & Peterson. We consider ourselves one of the premiere firms in Victoria. We've been around for over 40 years and we built our practice on having integrity and people trusting us to look after them and their estate after they die.”

McConnan Bion O'Connor & Peterson provides peace of mind by helping their clients make plans as to how their estate will be dealt with in the future. They help with drafting and revising Wills, Powers of Attorney, Disability Trusts, Representation Agreements, Estate administration, Estate litigation, developing care plans for young children or disabled dependents, and so much more.

For more information about estate planning check out their website http://www.mcbop.com or call 1-250-385-1383.

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