How are high-value assets divided in a high net-worth separation?

How are high-value assets divided in a high net-worth separation?

High net-worth separations often involve the division of complex and high-value assets such as real estate, business interests, trusts, investment portfolios, and even intellectual property. The way these assets are divided can vary between Alberta and British Columbia, as each province has its own legislation governing property division and support - Alberta's Family Law Act and British Columbia's Family Law Act. 

Principles of Equitable Division in Family Property

In both jurisdictions, the baseline principle is that family property should be divided equitably amongst the parties. However, the definition of what constitutes "equitable" can vary, especially when the assets in question are complex or involve third parties, like trusts or corporate interests. One of the unique elements of high-net worth couples is that they are often dealing with separating businesses, whether they are privately held corporations or sole proprietors. Determining the value of these assets is essential to reaching an equitable division of property. Completing a formal business valuation is usually the fairest way to determine value. Both parties, either jointly or separately, engage financial experts to conduct a fair valuation. This valuation may then be used to negotiate settlement terms or be brought as evidence in litigation if an agreement can't be reached.

Similarly, high-value real estate properties may require appraisals, and investment portfolios may need to be analyzed for their present and future value. Trust assets, if they are considered family property, might also need to be valued and divided in a way that both parties find equitable. Given the complexity and high stakes involved, seeking experienced legal guidance is strongly advised. 

Free Consultation with Crossroads Law

Given the stakes involved, it's strongly advised to seek out a legal expert with specific experience in high net-worth separations to guide you through this challenging time. The lawyers at Crossroads Law have experience handing the complex needs that arise in this area. If you need support with your high net-worth separation, book a free consultation with Crossroads Law today.