Anita Southall is a partner with Fillmore Riley LLP and practices in the area of estates and trusts management, including estate administration and litigation and administrative law. She was recently elected President of the Law Society of Manitoba. Anita was appointed to The Foundation’s Board in 2017.
Q: One of your early roles with The Foundation was as co-chair of its Nourishing Potential Committee. Why did you agree to serve on that Committee and what did you learn during that tenure?
A: I had been on The Foundation’s Professional Advisors Committee and enjoyed that, however I had a desire to participate in a child-centred charitable activity. So, when I was approached to serve on the Nourishing Potential Committee, it was a perfect fit.
I learned a significant amount about the various contributions by the government, education and charitable sectors regarding supports for nutrition and nutrition education for children and youth. It was my first opportunity to see firsthand the impact local organizations were making in that field.
Q: You’re a lawyer practicing in the area of estates and trusts management. Can you provide any advice about effective estate planning?
A: Planning is more important than ever. The combination of people living longer but with potential health conditions, and of greater mobility with family members living throughout the world, means it’s not necessarily easy to sit around the table and talk about planning and what the family sees as important. However, this planning and communication is vitally important.
Blended families are also having a significant impact on estate planning and administration. When people with blended families are infirm, have mental capacity issues or when they die, their circumstances can create challenges even if there is a well-thought-out plan. Communication is extremely important, and everyone must understand why certain things are happening or what is unfolding in accordance with the plan.
Q: What have been your biggest takeaways since your appointment to The Foundation’s Board?
A: The sheer number of organizations reached through The Foundation’s 360-degree approach to granting has been eye-opening. My exposure to so many active organizations with dedicated staff and volunteers who are carrying out the mission of making Winnipeg a better place for all is one of my biggest takeaways. The only other thing that comes close is the commitment of the staff at The Foundation – and of my fellow Board and Committee members – and their dedicated, focused, positive and collaborative approach.
This story is featured in the Fall 2019 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.