Private Client Services

Overview

Miller Thomson’s Private Client Services (“PCS”) practice is one of the largest and most prominent in Canada, specializing in the day-to-day and long-term planning needs of many of Canada’s most successful private family enterprises and individuals. We provide a complete range of services with respect to estate planning, personal and corporate tax, business succession planning, trusts, estate administration, trust and estate litigation and incapacity and elder law.

Our PCS Group distinguishes itself through our cornerstone publication, Miller Thomson on Estate Planning (“MTEP”) – a preeminent Canadian publication on estate planning.  Published by Thomson Reuters, MTEP is a two-volume, twenty chapter publication, covering a broad range of tax and estate planning topics in Canada as well as United States cross-border estate planning.  MTEP is regularly updated and marks a truly collaborative effort by our PCS lawyers across Canada.

Our areas of expertise include:

Estate Planning, Business Succession Planning and Personal Tax

  • Tax-planned trusts and wills to achieve wealth distribution objectives while minimizing tax
  • Succession plans to transition family businesses while maintaining family harmony
  • Custom designed estate freeze and income-splitting arrangements
  • Practical planning to reduce probate taxes
  • Life insurance planning
  • Cross-border will and trust planning for clients with dual residence, U.S. citizenship or foreign property
  • Charitable giving including the use of private charitable foundations
  • Pre-nuptial and Cohabitation agreements

Estate Administration

  • Applications for probate
  • Assisting executors and estate trustees in their duties
  • Administration of estates and trusts
  • Opinions on will and trust interpretations
  • Post mortem tax planning
  • Jurisdictional issues
  • Preparation of accounts for estates and trusts

We assist institutional fiduciaries on a regular basis with advice designed to reduce exposure and manage the risks that accompany a fiduciary position. We also advise trustees on complex fiduciary issues and advise beneficiaries on their rights and expectations.

Estate and Trust Dispute Resolution, Mediation and Arbitration

Our lawyers are experienced in complex dispute resolution with respect to estates and trusts. We provide a full range of services in trust and estate litigation including:

  • Contested proceedings in trust, estate and charitable matters
  • Variation of trusts
  • Motions for advice and directions
  • Cy-près applications for trustees and charities

Incapacity and Elder Law

  • Substitute decision-making and mental incapacity planning
  • Continuing enduring powers of attorney for property and durable powers of attorney
  • Powers of attorney for personal care, personal directives, representation agreements and “Living Wills”
  • Advising on the use of trusts and powers of attorney to protect clients’ assets and to effect personal care decisions in the event of long term illness or incapacity
  • Management plans, guardianship and committeeship
  • Contesting an attorney’s, agent’s, or guardian’s decisions or accounts

COVID-19 Resources

We have written on a variety of topics to help identify the pertinent issues, understand the legal implications, minimize risk exposure and manage legal obligations.

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Top Ranked Practice

Miller Thomson is recognized as a top-ranking Band 1 firm for Private Wealth Law – Canada in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide (2019).

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Miller Thomson on Estate Planning

This publication, published by Thomson Reuters, offers insight into estate planning, trusts, estate administration, insurance planning, charitable planning, business succession and corporate restructuring and the legal implications of cross-border issues.

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