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ShahzadShahzad Siddiqui

Managing Partner

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Related Publications

Islamic Wills, Trusts and Estates: Planning for This World and the Next
Shahzad Siddiqui, Mufti Talha Azami

 

 

Fruits of the Orchard
Shahzad Siddiqui

 

 

Estate Planning for the Wealthy Entrepreneur
Shahzad Siddiqui & Taimur Chughtai

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Our lawyers have experience in advising on everything from general business law and civil litigation matters to more specialized sub-practices like securities law and commercial litigation.

Wills & Estates

As an entrepreneur submerged in growing your business to the best of your ability, you may lose sight of planning for the future. Estate planning is a choice to look ahead and decide in advance how you and your property will be protected and distributed. Failing to plan in this regard means that people other than those closest to you will decide these matters on your behalf. Furthermore, it promotes tax planning and ensures that your property is handled in a manner that minimizes immediate taxation of your possessions. Most importantly, it reduces the stress and headache for your loved ones during what is an already emotional time.

Our group prides itself on expertise in all areas of estate planning, advising you on how to best protect your property and keep it in the hands of those who matter to you most. We provide a multitude of services including, but not limited to:

Drafting of Wills

A will is a document which names a person(s) to administer your Estate, and provides for the distribution of your property after you pass away. It allows you, as testator, to decide who will handle the administration, paperwork and finances. Upon your death, everything you own forms your estate. This includes real estate, bank and investment accounts, a personal business, art, jewellery and intellectual property.

A will allows for the naming of guardians for minor children, and can set the age of distribution of gifts to children to whatever age you deem appropriate.

Without a will, a statutory scheme of distribution and probate tax on real property and other assets will be imposed upon your estate and your Executor may have to post security with the Estate Court before being able to implement that government-imposed distribution. If you own property, have children, or would like to leave gifts to specific friends, loved ones or for charitable purposes, having a will is imperative.

If you would like to get your will done, complete the following steps:

  1. Download the Islamic Will Check List or the Conventional Will Check List
  2. Fill out the required information
  3. Scan the completed document
  4. Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Will Checklist – <Your Name>” as the subject heading

We will get back to you as soon as possible to arrange a meeting around the finalization of your will and other elements of estate planning.

Drafting of Dual Wills

Dual wills can help wealthy entrepreneurs save thousands of dollars that would otherwise be taxed upon death. The key to a dual will structure is to have private company shares dealt with in a “secondary will.”

The wills under such a structure are mirror documents, except that the primary will covers general assets and the secondary will is limited to the wealth-generating shares of private corporations.

Since the grant of probate is limited to only the primary will, having the secondary will enables wealthy entrepreneurs to shelter more of their wealth from government treasuries. However, the documents have to be properly drafted and only the primary will should be probated in order for the structure to be effective.

Execution of Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney are documents that transfer decision-making authority from one person to another in the event that they are deemed incapable of making these decisions themselves. There are two types: a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care.

A Power of Attorney for Property names one or more persons to act as your fiduciary agent for your property and gives your Attorney either general or limited powers to deal with your property while you are alive. A Power of Attorney for Personal Care gives your Attorney the power to make decisions in relation to your health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene or safety for you in the event that you cannot make these decisions for yourself.

Without Powers of Attorney, a person that becomes incapable is represented by the Public Guardian and Trustee for Ontario for all decisions related to their personal property. In order to change this, family members or friends have to apply to the Ontario Superior Court to be appointed your Statutory Guardian. This can prove to be expensive, complex, restrictive and most of all, emotionally exhausting. A properly prepared Power of Attorney can help you avoid additional costs and stress, and ensure that important decisions are in the hands of those you trust most.

Drafting Trust Agreements

Trusts are legal vehicles that allows transfer of the ownership of the testator’s property into one person’s name (trustee) to hold the asset in trust for the benefit of another person (beneficiary). A Trust agreement can either be within a will itself or as a separate document that the will refers to.

Trusts are very important in estate planning, as they allow certain assets to be held in trust for your children until they reach the age of majority (18 in Ontario) or beyond, and are also very useful for tax planning.

Trust agreements can be varied or revoked by application to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by those with an interest, either direct or indirect, in the Trust. The court shall not approve an arrangement unless the carrying out thereof appears to be for the benefit of that person. In Ontario, the intention of the testator upon which the Trust agreement is related to is of importance as well.

Simple & Complex Probate Matters

Probate is a declaration by the court confirming the validity of a will. Although submission for probate is not required for small estates, often third parties affected by the terms of a will, such as financial institutions, life insurance policy providers, and land registry offices, would prefer confirmation of the will’s validity before they pursue any direction provided within it.

We have conducted probate applications for holograph wills, dual wills and estates in dispute.

The degree of complexity in a probate matter differs in each situation. Having a well-constructed will limits the risk of a will being deemed invalid, and is vital in allowing the administration of an estate to go as smoothly as possible.

Shari'a-Compliant Estate Planning

We are well-versed in Estate Planning that is Shari’a-compliant with respect to distribution, guardianship, funeral and burial rites and arbitration in case of dispute or difference.

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