Trustworthy legal advice when making an intervivos gift or wealth transfer

As the Baby Boomer generation approaches age eighty, the wealth they accumulated during the most prosperous era in history is being transferred to their children, grandchildren, and other younger generations.

Some older Canadians are choosing to transfer assets to their beneficiaries as gifts, removing those amounts from their estate; while in other situations younger family members may seek an advance on their inheritance to help with the purchase of a big-ticket such as a home, or as an investment in a business or other venture. Where any transfer of assets is being undertaken, it is essential to obtain advice from a lawyer specialising in arranging intervivos gifts in order to manage legal and financial risk, and to optimize the transaction.

At Eisen Law, our lawyers specialize in estate planning, including complex and high-net-worth planning. We are a boutique firm focused on guiding clients through the wealth transfer process, including both setting up a transfer, challenging a transfer, or defending against a challenge by someone else.

Setting up your intervivos gift or wealth transfer

An intervivos gift should not be made without considering every potential impact and consequence, and proactively ensuring, as much as possible, that the wealth transfer is not open to challenge.

At Eisen Law, we can assist you in developing an objective for your estate plan, including designing and implementing wealth transfers during your life. In order for an intervivos gift to be considered valid, and to be upheld after your death, it must meet certain legal criteria. We have the necessary experience and knowledge to ensure that your wishes are upheld, and your assets are gifted as you choose.

Challenging an intervivos gift or wealth transfer

In some cases, especially where there are health and capacity concerns, wealth may be transferred in bad faith, with an older person being deceived or manipulated into doing so through elder financial abuse.

Recent cases in Ontario have shown that unscrupulous family members can attempt to take advantage of ambiguous circumstances to take control of assets. Some people attempt to avoid estate tax by placing assets in the names of their future beneficiaries before their death. These beneficiaries can later attempt to claim a right to those assets by survivorship, even where no such gift was intended by the deceased.

A transfer of wealth can be challenged on the grounds of undue influence, or due to a claimed lack of capacity on the part of the transferor. Depending on the circumstances, there may be a presumption that the assets were held in trust for the estate, or other available remedies.

At Eisen Law, we can assist you in challenging an intervivos transfer, to ensure that your family member or loved one is not being taken advantage of, and that their wishes are upheld and assets are transferred as they desire.

Toronto estate planning lawyers advising regarding intergenerational wealth transfer and intervivos gifts

The trusts and estate lawyers at Eisen Law are dedicated to finding cost-effective estate planning solutions that fit your needs. We can assist with planning an intervivos gift or wealth transfer in such a way as to protect your interests and avoid potential challenges down the road. We can also guide clients who wish to challenge a wealth transfer.

If you have questions about a gift or wealth transfer, we offer free consultations to new clients. Contact us online or call 416-591-9997 to make an appointment.

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