Lesley Russell


With a practice focused on wills & estates, Lesley strives to help make often stressful times in her clients’ lives a bit easier.


A vital member of our business law group, Lesley manages a wills & estates practice, where she assists clients with incapacity and estate planning, as well as estate administration. After living and working overseas for many years, followed by working as a notary in Burnaby for three years, Lesley re-joined private practice in 2016 and joined Harper Grey in 2023. She has assisted numerous clients with diverse backgrounds and requirements and brings a tailored and informed perspective to each client she works with.

Lesley strives to make life’s inevitabilities, aging, death and taxes, a less daunting topic for clients while being alert to the complications these raise from a legal, family, tax, probate fee, and cost perspective.

Lesley is committed to helping her clients understand their planning options and working with them to create individualized incapacity and estate plans that are customized to their specific needs and goals.

In estate administration matters, Lesley advises and assists clients in probate applications and obtaining estate grants, as well as the administration of estates and trusts. Lesley takes time to answer questions and to ensure her clients understand their duties and obligations when dealing with an estate.

A sought-after speaker, Lesley routinely presents about wills and estates to financial institutions and investment planners.

Although originally from the prairies, Lesley moved to Vancouver after living abroad for nearly a decade. When she’s not at work, you can find Lesley spending time with family and friends – often by throwing impromptu dinner parties.

Assistance Team
Legal Administrative Assistant

Christopher McAnenly

Legal Administrative Assistant

[email protected] Contact by email
  • University of Manitoba, L.L.B. 1995

  • University of Manitoba, B.A. (Hons), 1992

Bar Admission
  • Manitoba, 1996
  • British Columbia, 2016
Languages spoken
  • English
Estate Planning & Planning for Incapacity
  • assisting clients with blended families or complex family dynamics

  • wills with specialized trusts for children, spousal trusts, disability trusts, trusts for adults

  • estate plans involving unequal division or disinheritance

  • charitable gifts

  • specific bequests of real estate and personal property

  • dual wills (e.g. separate wills for private business and non-business assets)

  • incapacity planning, including the preparation of powers of attorney and representation agreements

  • advising on and preparing joint partner trusts, alter ego trusts, bare trusts

  • advising on the issues and considerations of changing ownership of property to joint tenancy as part of an estate plan

Estate Administration

In addition to assisting clients with obtaining an estate grant, Lesley also assists with administering assets and liabilities, accounting to beneficiaries and distributing the estate’s assets.

Lesley also assists her clients with residential real estate matters including the transmission of property into an estate, the sale of estate property, as well as purchases and refinances.

Lesley’s experience includes administering estates with:

  • “homemade” wills, marked wills, a copy of a wills, missing wills and no wills (e.g. an intestate estate)

  • multiple, missing, and foreign executors

  • minor, incompetent, and foreign beneficiaries

  • complicated assets, including private corporations, property, foreign assets

  • insolvency or insufficient assets

Professional Credentials
  • Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, Member
  • The Law Society of British Columbia, Member

Get in touch with

Lesley Russell