Private Client Law
Smutylo Sigler helps you understand and resolve your legal needs.
Dealing with legal issues alone can be difficult. We can help you navigate through tough legal decisions regarding estates, wrongful dismissal, your professional corporation.
Professional corporations, such as medical and dental professional corporations, can offer significant benefits. We have worked with many professionals and their financial, tax and accounting advisers to incorporate professional corporations, implementing corporate share structures that not only achieve the maximum tax savings but also provide the most flexibility for changing life circumstances.
Most of our professional clients are doctors, dentists and physiotherapists and come to us through the personal referrals of their financial advisors, accountants and professional (i.e. doctor, lawyer, dentist or accountant) colleagues. We are a go-to firm for professionals because we understand their practices and accommodate the busy lives and complex affairs of doctors, dentists and other professionals.
We also understand some of the unique issues applicable to professionals working together, in joint ventures, partnerships and cost-sharing arrangements. For example, having worked with various medical practice groups, we appreciate the significance of potential HST and other tax liability for medical practice groups. For these professionals, we’ve developed structures and agreements to plan against unexpected tax exposure.
In Ontario, members of the following professions are eligible to operate professional corporations:
• Chartered accountants, certified general accountants, and lawyers;
• Audiologists, chiropodists, podiatrists, chiropractors;
• Dental hygienists, dental surgeons, dental technologists, denturists;
• Dieticians, massage therapists;
• Medical laboratory technologists, medical radiation technologists;
• Midwives, nurses, occupational therapists;
• Opticians, optometrists;
• Pharmacists, physicians and surgeons;
• Physiotherapists, psychologists, speech language pathologists, and respiratory therapists;
• Social workers and social service workers; and
Since business laws changed to permit professionals to incorporate, we have been providing financial legal advice to assist busy professionals incorporate and operate their practices using a corporation structure, alone, in cost sharing arrangements or in partnerships or in association.
PREPARING A WILL AND ESTATE PLANNING
Estate planning is more than just hiring an estate lawyer to prepare Will and Power of Attorney documents. It is a financial and personal exercise – with the goal of maximizing wealth transfer by limiting Estate Administration Tax and other wealth transfer taxes and making important decisions about how your affairs will be distributed.
Estate planning involves working with an Estate Lawyer to figure out how to protect the interests of children, family members with special needs, and how to keep assets protected against threats from creditors, family law claims, and litigation from those who seek a bigger share of your estate.
We will work to help you achieve peace of mind, knowing that you have done everything possible to put things in order for the benefit of your family and other beneficiaries. For more information see our Introduction to Estate Planning and Estate Planning Strategies articles.
An Estate Lawyer works with you, your accountant and your financial adviser, to identify:
• Who should act as your executors?
• What are the assets which will pass under your Will?
• What other assets or financial resources do you have?
• Do you have family trusts or companies, pension funds, insurance policies, or business interests?
• Are there assets overseas?
• How do you want your assets distributed on your death?
• Are there family members who need special consideration?
• Are there certain assets which require special arrangements, such as a family cottage?
• Do you have pets that you wish to have taken care of?
• Do you have children from a previous marriage?
• How can your estate be organized to minimize Estate Administration Tax and other taxes?
• How can succession be addressed for family companies and businesses?
• Does a testamentary trust make sense in your circumstances?
Hire us as your Estate Lawyer and we will work with you until we have a clear picture of your circumstances, then prepare a Will, Power of Attorney for Property, Power of Attorney for Personal Care and other documents designed to achieve your objectives.
If you have a business, we will also discuss business succession issues and help you take steps that maximize the value and minimize disruption at the time of succession.
PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
We provide legal advice to Executors and family members through the estate administration process. Whether this involves our taking an active role or advisory role, we are available and have the expertise and resources to support our clients during this complex and often emotionally charged period. We know that a good Estate Lawyer will make a difficult situation a little less difficult.
As Estate Lawyers, we understand that smooth and fast probate and estate administration will help beneficiaries adjust and move forward to new circumstances.
We will explain the process clearly and help you make good decisions. If you are the Executor or Estate Trustee for an estate with a Will or without a Will, we will assist you carry out your Executor duties and avoid Executor liability pitfalls. We can provide as much or as little assistance as you need.
We provide timely and valuable guidance to clients on a range of estate administration matters, including:
• Inventory and asset management;
• Debt collections and repayments;
• Obtaining Certificate of Estate Trustee documents;
• Distribution of assets;
• Passing of accounts; and
• Estate litigation.
When an employer fails to treat an employee fairly and as the law requires they be treated, immediate access to a lawyer is vital to the employee’s ability to get information regarding wrongful termination. In some of these cases, the employer alleges “just cause” to terminate the employee. In other cases, the employer fails to provide sufficient notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice of termination.
In all situations, we empower our clients by providing them with knowledge of their termination rights which enables them to make informed decisions regarding their legal options. When circumstances require, we will effectively advocate on behalf of a wrongfully terminated client and diligently work to obtain fair compensation for them.
If you have been terminated and are uncertain about your rights, give us a call for a no obligation free telephone consultation. We will help you determine if you have been wrongfully terminated, explain the applicable laws, and provide you with legal advice regarding your entitlements.