Tanya Butler, TEP
Legal Assistant

Tanya is an associate in the Halifax office. Her practice focuses on private client work in the estates and trusts area, including all aspects of estate planning, probate and administration, and litigation.

Tanya acts for individuals, trust companies, financial institutions, charitable entities, incorporated professionals, and owner-managed businesses in the area of will planning, trusts, asset protection, probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and charitable/planned giving. Tanya advises personal representatives, guardians, attorneys, and trustees on the administration of estates and trusts. She also has experience in contentious court proceedings, including will challenges, passing of accounts, fiduciary litigation, will interpretation, and dependants’ relief claims.

Tanya holds the designation of TEP (Trusts and Estate Practitioner) from the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and is a Program Chair of the STEP Atlantic Branch. She is the Chair of the Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section of the Canadian Bar Association.

Tanya is from the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and studied English literature at Acadia University and Queen’s University (Kingston), before studying law at the University of New Brunswick. She is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, the Canadian Bar Association, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and the Halifax Estate Planning Council.

Tanya is a lecturer at the CBA National Will, Estate and Trust Fundamentals for Estate Practitioners, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum held at Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ontario.


Tanya has helped her clients with estate matters in many ways, including:

  • Acting as counsel in contested and uncontested estate litigation including will challenges, estate administration disputes, contested guardianship applications, variation of trusts, and applications before the court to interpret wills.
  • Advising clients on and preparing estate and probate avoidance plans, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney for property, personal directives for health and other personal care, and guardian appointments for minor children.
  • Guiding executors and estate administrators through the probate process and through the administration and tax aspects of estates.

Bar Admission

  • Nova Scotia (2009)

Law School

  • University of New Brunswick


  • University of New Brunswick (LL.B., 2008)
  • Queen’s University (Ph.D., 2006)
  • Acadia University (M.A. 1999)
  • Acadia University (B.A. Hons., 1998)

Professional Activities & Affiliations

  • Member, Halifax Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Chair, CBA Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section
  • Secretary, STEP (Society of Estate and Trust Practitioners) Atlantic Executive

Lectures & Presentations

  • May 2012 – present, presenter, “Wills & Estate Planning,” Capital District Health Authority Pre-Retirement Seminars
  • May 2012 – present, presenter, “Wills & Estate Planning,” large Nova Scotia tire manufacturer Pre-Retirement Seminars
  • January 21, 2013, presenter, “Family Law impact on Estate Planning,” Halifax Estate Planning Council
  • November 28, 2013, presenter, “Planning for the Adult Child with Intellectual Challenges,” Building Futures Employment Society
  • February 24, 2014, presenter, “Financial Issues in Mid-Life and Beyond: Estate Planning,” QEII Health Sciences Centre
  • April 24, 2014, hosted the “Ask a Lawyer” booth at “The Good, The Bad and The Hopeful,” “An Honest Exploration of Living with Dementia,” Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia Forum
  • May 6, 2014, presenter, “Wills & Estate Planning,” Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia
  • June 24, 2014, co-presenter, “Solicitor Client Privilege in the Estate Context,” CBA Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section
  • October 25, 2014, presenter, “The Importance of Estate Planning in Preventing Elder Abuse,” Financial Abuse of Seniors Workshop, Upper Hammonds Plains
  • February 6, 2015, co-presenter, “Is the Party Over? Will & Estate Planning in Light of the 2014 Budget Changes,” CBA New Brunswick Mid-Winter Meeting
  • March 24, 2015, presenter, “Status Update: Digital Assets and Death,” CBA Nova Scotia Wills, Estates & Trusts Section Meeting
  • June 9, 2015, presenter, “Estate Planning in Light of the 2014 Budget Changes”, Investment Planning Council, Halifax, NS
  • January 29, 2016, co-presenter, “Executor Know-How”, CBA Nova Scotia Mid-Winter Conference
  • September 2016, co-presenter, “Alter Ego & Joint Partner Trusts”, RBC Wealth Management
  • October 29, 2016, co-presenter, “Estate Litigation Overview”, CBA National Will, Estate and Trust Fundamentals for Estate Practitioners Course, Ottawa
  • November 15, 2016, co-presenter, “Powers of Attorney: The Agony and the Ecstasy”, Cambridge Forums Estates & Trust Practitioners’ Forum, Langdon Hall, Ontario
  • November 25, 2016, presenter, “Drafting Super Powers of Attorney: Pitfalls and the Clauses to Avoid Them”, CBA Nova Scotia Estate Planning Conference
  • December 5, 2016, co-presenter, “When Non-Occupant Owners Go on Title”, RELANS Conference
  • October 10, 2017, presenter, “Where There’s No Will, There’s Still a Way: Lost and Missing Wills”, CBA-NS Wills, Estates & Trusts Section Meeting
  • November 5-7, 2017, presenter, “The Wills Vault: Treasures, Terrors, & Time Bombs”, Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum
  • November 5-7, 2017, presenter, “Substitute Decision Making: Emerging Issues and Conundrums”, Estates & Trusts Practitioners’ Forum
  • November 20, 2017, presenter, “Pecore 10 Years Later”, Halifax Estate Planning Council
  • December 1, 2017, presenter, “Beneficiary Designations Gone Wild: Tips and Tricks for Making Registered Investments Work as Part of the Estate Plan”, CBA-NS Mid-Winter Conference

Law Society Memberships

  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Nova Scotia Barristers' Society


  • English