Having a will in place is an often overlooked but very important part of life planning. When you or a loved one dies, your property will be distributed in accordance with default provisions of the Wills, Estates and Succession Act if you do not have a will in place. It’s important for anyone, even with a small amount of assets, to have a will in place.
Wills are particularly important when a person or a couple has a significant amount of assets. If you have minor children, you will need to appoint a guardian in your will. Appointing a guardian is especially important if you’re a single parent.
We have a strong wills practice, and can offer you a well-drafted will for a very low rate. We also offer ancillary legal services which are important to have alongside your will, such as power of attorney as well as representation agreements in case you are in a serious accident or your health turns for the worst.
Unfortunate as it may be, families are often easily divided upon the death of a loved one and in situations where a significant inheritance is involved. Emotions are high, and facing the prospect of an inheritance, families often dispute how money should be spent and where it should go. A well-drafted will can help prevent these situations from occurring, but even with a solid will in place, a range of legal issues can arise.
Estate litigation can be a relatively complicated area of law. However, if you have been left out of a will or if you feel as though you are not receiving your fair share.
A trust, in simple terms, is where property is held by one individual or company for the benefit of another. A trust is created by a settlor, the party that originally held the property, is transferred to a trustee (in the case of a will, called an executor), and is held for the benefit of another party, a beneficiary. For example, a settlor may have children for whom he or she would like to provide a monthly income in a specific amount, so that the children are provided for but to prevent them from spending more than a certain number over time. This can be in the form of a living trust, or can be created through the terms of a will.
A discretionary trust has the same structure as a standard trust, but gives the trustee discretion to make certain decisions with respect to the management of the trust. For example, a settlor may pass away and ask one child to take care of another, for whatever reason, in that first child’s discretion. This form of a trust provides the trustee with decision-making power over how to distribute assets to the other beneficiary.
Trusts may in a range of forms and provide a diverse degree of powers and responsibilities with respect to the distribution of assets. If you would like to establish a trust, or have questions with respect to a trust in which you are named as a party, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our lawyers.
Other Legal Matters
Our firm offers legal services on a diverse range of legal matters beyond the scope of this webpage, including representation agreements, powers of attorney, corporate and commercial work including with respect to incorporating a company, maintaining a corporate records office, mortgages and more. If you have any questions or would like a quote on your legal issue, we offer some of the fairest rates on the island and are happy to provide quotes for you to compare with other firms.