Cate is an estates lawyer in the Wills, Estates, Trusts and Charities Group of Harrison Pensa LLP. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, corporate succession strategies and not-for-profit law.
Clients ranging from individuals to entire multi-generation families turn to Cate for help in planning their wills and powers of attorney and structuring their estates to ensure that their loved ones will be protected after they pass away. She helps her clients to anticipate and manage the tax implications of estate plans and to minimize income tax, capital gains and probate taxes triggered by death.
Cate advises cottage owners who wish to transfer family vacation properties to their children’s families as seamlessly as possible. As well, she works with parents of disabled children who wish to ensure their child is taken care of after the parents are gone. Where guardianship applications are required, Cate drafts the guardianship and management plans and works with her clients every step of the way to ensure a smooth navigation of the court system.
Business owners rely on Cate to help them structure corporate succession plans that will transfer family wealth to the next generation with minimal tax consequences. Similarly, charitable organizations call on Cate to advise them on corporate and not-for-profit legal matters and to counsel them on the implications of new legislation.
Estate trustees face extraordinary challenges in the weeks immediately following the death of a loved one. Cate is there for her estate trustee clients through this difficult time, guiding them through the court process, advising them on all estate administration matters, and interacting with financial institutions. If court action becomes necessary, Cate works closely with her clients to prepare all the necessary court materials.
Cate is extremely active in the London and southwestern Ontario communities, both personally and professionally. She is a member of and has served as an event speaker for the Middlesex Bar Association and is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association and of the Estate Planners Council. She recently served as Harrison Pensa’s liaison to the UWO Social Sciences Student Introduction to Law Seminar.
Cate is President of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of London and Area and a Past Board Member of the London Children’s Museum, and she is active in her children’s schools as a parent volunteer. She gives regular presentations on estate planning matters at financial institutions’ private client events and to area retirement homes. She is also an educator at the Regional Mental Health Family Education Series (Focus on Henson Trusts).
Cate has been interviewed by the CBC and has been published in The Lawyers Weekly. Away from the office, she loves to spend time with her husband and three children. She is also a music lover who plays both the piano and the double bass.
Wills, Trusts, Estates and Charities