Our Process

Discover Your Initial Steps

Initial Steps

Each family situation has a specific, unique dynamic and requires a nuanced approach. The relationship we build with you enables us to take into consideration both your business and personal situations.

1. Meet With Us

We will meet to listen, discuss, and understand your goals, financial and family situation, beneficiaries, and the legacy you would like to establish. It’s an opportunity to understand any concerns or difficulties you are facing in your estate matters, and review the estate plan that your advisors provide to us.

2. Work With Your Advisors

We look forward to working with the professional advisors you already trust and rely on – we won’t replace them, we will work alongside them. If you have any other professional needs, we can provide referrals or assist with these through our affiliated family office firm, BC Partners in Planning Ltd.

3. Implement the Plan

This involves working alongside a lawyer of your choosing (or one we can recommend) to draft required documents such as a Will, Codicil or Trust Deed. We review these documents before you sign them to ensure they meet your planning needs.

4. Ongoing Administration and Monitoring

In the case of an immediately active file, our team will work with you and other involved parties to establish an action plan and identify next steps.

For Will appointments or Power of Attorney appointments, we will store a digital and physical copy of all documents in a secure location, and contact you regularly to ensure your estate plan remains up-to-date. 

Our Team

Our team takes pride in the longevity and multi-generational nature of our staff ​and is highly invested in passing along our expertise​ and experience to the next generation ​of staff to ensure continuity and stability for our clients over the years.

Gillian Elmitt

Chief Executive Officer

Gillian graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from UBC in 1982. She articled with Coopers and Lybrand (now PwC) and obtained her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) designation in 1985. After six years with Coopers and Lybrand she then practiced with Smythe Radcliffe as a Manager in their Vancouver office. Gillian started her own practice on the North Shore in 1992 and joined BC Partners in Planning Ltd. in 2009.  ​Gillian has been a West Vancouver resident all of her life and an active member of the community.

Blair MacLean

Director of Business Development

Blair graduated from UBC with a business degree. After spending 12 years working in the corporate world, Blair founded his own financial services company (BC Partners in Planning Ltd.) with partners Ken and Marian Snowball in 1996. Blair has experience in financial planning, investment management and oversight, and estate planning. He has also served as Executor to a number of clients. Blair is a member of the Financial Planning Standards Council, Advocis, the Advanced Institute of Financial Planners, and is a designated Elder Planning Specialist. Residing in West Vancouver for over 25 years, Blair enjoys the outdoors and his family.   

Sandra McLean

Chief Risk Officer

Sandra graduated from UBC with degrees in Arts (Psychology) and Law. After a number of years in private practice, Sandra moved to HSBC where over a span of almost 25 years she held various trust company roles including Corporate Secretary, Legal Counsel, AVP & Expert Counsel and Director, Risk Management. More recently she worked as Legal Counsel with a BC-based Trust Company. Sandra is a member of the BC Law Society and the Canada Bar Association. A life-long resident of West Vancouver, she loves being part of a team, problem solving and finding creative solutions.

Philan Policar

Chief Financial Officer

Philan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and is responsible for finance at Coda Trust Company Ltd. Philan graduated from the University of Queensland in Australia with a Commerce degree, majoring in both Accounting and Finance. As a partner at BC Partners in Planning Ltd. – a family office and financial planning firm – Philan works very closely with clients and their families on estate planning and inter-generational financial planning matters, overseeing key investment management functions. Philan is active at his church and is a regular volunteer in the music department.

Barbara Lang

Corporate Secretary

Barb has a BSc. in Kinesiology, an MSc. in Occupational and Environmental Health, and a background in risk/exposure assessment for epidemiological studies. After several years working at the BC Cancer Agency and UBC, she moved to BC Partners in Planning Ltd. where her roles have included data management, newsletter/website development and corporate records administration. Barb has spent many years on the North Shore where she appreciates the quick access to the outdoors.

Nicole Snowball

Trust Officer

Nicole graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelors of Science with Honours in Psychology. After working as a Research Assistant for several years, she moved back to Vancouver and began working in personal and corporate tax accounting. Nicole obtained her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in 2022, and is now a STEP Affiliate member and currently pursuing her TEP designation (Trust and Estate Practitioner). Nicole grew up in West Vancouver and loves the value of life-long connections that can be formed with local clients and businesses.