Estate Planning: Who Can Help

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An estate plan includes things like making a will and understanding how to reduce the taxes your estate will have to pay when you die. This planning may involve many steps and decision and can sometimes be quite complicated.  

That’s why it’s a good idea to work with an estate planning professional who can ensure that you’re  you on the right track when it comes to managing your finances and your personal affairs.

A Notary 

A notary is an estate expert. A notary can give you advice on how to express your wishes, decide on goals concerning your estate, help increase the value of your property and protect your loved ones.  

A notary can prepare various documents, including a will, a protection mandate (formerly “mandate for incapacity”) and a list of what you own. Also, a will prepared by a notary takes effect as soon as you die, unlike other types of wills that must be validated by the court or a notary.  

Lastly, when settling your estate, especially if it is complicated, a notary will make sure that the legal requirements are followed and all legal questions are settled. 

There are about 3,800 notaries in Quebec. To find one near you, visit the website of the Chambre des notaires du Québec (professional order of notaries). 

 A Lawyer 

A lawyer can help you prepare legal documents to prevent problems in the future.  

If a legal problem involving your estate planning arises, a lawyer can help you solve it. A lawyer  can guide you through the process and give you information about your choices. For example, there are alternative methods for settling conflicts, including mediation. Another option is legal action in the courts. 

As far as legal action is concerned, only lawyers can prepare documents to be filed in court or argue a case in front of a judge when the case is contested. 

The Barreau du Québec (professional order  of lawyers) is made up of over 26,500 lawyers who work in private firms, companies, and in public and para-public organizations. To find an estate lawyer in your area, contact the Barreau du Québec’s referral service (website in French only). 

A Financial Planner 

If you have a range of estate-planning needs, you might want to talk to a financial planner. 

On top of taking care of the financial aspects of your estate plan, a financial planner can act as a go-between between you and another professional, such as a lawyer or notary for legal documents (e.g., a will, a protection mandate) or an accountant for tax issues. 

To use the title “financial planners”, a person must take the professional training course and pass the final exam given by the Institut québécois de planification financière (financial planning institute). 

Financial planners must also be registered with the Autorité des marchés financiers, a government agency,  or be a member of one of the following professional orders: