Westcoast Wills & Estates

Westcoast Wills & Estates

North Vancouver Wills Lawyer

Alter Ego Trust & Joint Partner Trust

Our trust lawyers can help you create an alter ego trust or a joint partner trust.  Independent advice is also provided by a tax lawyer as part of the cost to ensure that the trust is the most tax efficient and beneficial to you.


Both alter ego and joint partner trusts are “inter vivos” trusts, meaning you transfer your assets into the trust during your lifetime.  After it is set up, you would have assets in the trust (which at your death would pass according to the trust document), and assets still held by you personally (which at your death would pass to those named in your will, or otherwise by joint ownership or beneficiary designation).  Both of these trusts have basically the same concept, benefits and drawbacks.  The difference is that an alter ego trust is for one person, whereas a joint partner trust is for married or common law couples.


To be able to qualify for one of these trusts, you must:

  • Be 65 or older
  • be entitled to receive all of the income from the trust
  • be the only person (or people for spouses) entitled to receive or have use of the income or capital of the trust

Also, Westcoast Wills & Estates tends to recommend these trusts only to those with an estate worth over roughly $2 million, if the sole reason for setting up the trust is to avoid probate (the probate fee on $2 million is roughly $28,000).


  • No probate fee on the assets in the trust (in BC, the probate fee is roughly 1.4% of the total value of your assets)
  • No probate process for the assets held in trust (the probate process can often take well over a year)
  • Privacy (no third party will know what assets are in the trust, whereas probate filings are public)
  • Some usefulness for disinheritance situations (discuss this with our trust lawyers, as care must be taken)


  • Added complexity to your life
  • The trust may need to file annual tax returns
  • More expensive than a will to set up (although the savings of probate fees more than justify this expense in the long-run)

If you are unsure if setting up this type of trust is right for you, the experienced wills and trust lawyers at Westcoast Wills & Estates can answer all of your questions and provide you with advice to help you decide.  These trusts are usually complimented by basic WillsPowers of Attorney and Representation Agreements

What sets our trust lawyers apart?  See our homepage and reviews from former clients.


Westcoast Wills & Estates



Email: info@westcoastwills.com

West Vancouver Wills Lawyer


  • I've used Westcoast Wills & Estates twice now. Mike first helped me update my will and he also helped me fulfill my role as an executor. He made the whole process as easy as it cou... Read More
  • Our experience with West Coast Wills was excellent. Brandon was professional and made us feel completely at ease. He incorporated everything we wanted into our documents. The pr... Read More
  • Mike was very versatile and knowledgeable in redoing our existing wills for my wife and myself. His knowlegde of real estate and gifting laws solved a major problem in our previou... Read More
  • Making your Will with an Advanced Health Directive is essential but it need not be difficult. Kirsten Wharton was brilliant and made the process easy and efficient. My previous wil... Read More


executor advice from a probate lawyer in Vancouver

Westcoast Wills & Estates



Email: info@westcoastwills.com