WILLS AND POWERS OF ATTORNEY
Take Control of Your Assets
Rather than leaving the important decision of dividing your financial assets and possessions to the courts, get the assistance you need to make wise decisions concerning your estate by speaking with us. We are dedicated to helping you through every step of your estate planning. We are prepared to assist you with legal services such as:
- Drafting a will
- Assigning powers of attorney for property and personal care
The decisions you make regarding your estate determine how your property will be divided and what estate taxes will need to be paid after your passing.
The Purpose of a Will
With the instructions outlined in your Will, the named executors you have chosen will be well prepared in settling your estate. You can appoint someone to care for your children if you die while they are young.
We have extensive experience in writing Wills and settling Estates. You can take advantage of
that knowledge and expertise to make sure that the value of your property is not reduced by family quarrels or taxes that could have been avoided.
Preparing to See Your Lawyer
Before you meet your lawyer, think about your answers to these questions:
- Who do I want to be my executor? Who do I trust to manage the financial affairs of my
- How should my assets be divided?
- Who do I want to look after my children?
- What will happen if someone named in my Will dies before I do?
- Are your real estate assets jointly held?
- Have you named any of your beneficiaries on insurance policies or investments?
Powers of Attorney - Taking Charge of Your Life
Distinct from your Will, which does not operate until you pass away, your Powers of Attorney protect you during your lifetime by allowing you to select the person(s) that you would want to have control over your personal life and your assets, if you become incapable of making your own decisions.
In fact, Powers of Attorney can be even more impactful upon your life and the peace of your family than a will, in certain circumstances. While an estate governed by a will is typically completed within a year or two of the date of death, a disability can last for several years.
The person(s) you name as your Power of Attorney for Property or Power of Attorney for Personal Care may be assisting you personally and in your finances during a long disability.
The process of appointing someone to look after you if you have not given Power of Attorney is cumbersome, complicated, time consuming and expensive. Even if you do not presently have much in way of assets to manage (perhaps you are a student or just getting started as a couple), powers of attorney are still very relevant and important. If a life altering injury or illness came along you want the people you trust in place.
There are two types of Power of Attorney:
Your Power of Attorney for Property can do anything with your property that you could
do...Among other things your named attorney can pay bills, deposit cheques, renew a mortgage,
sell your home or manage your investments.
Your Power of Attorney for Personal Care will make decisions about where you live, how you
are cared for and, most importantly, what kind of medical treatment you receive.
Is it Time For a Change?
Our cardinal rule is that when life or your relationships change, it’s very important to have another look at your estate plan to see whether those changes should be addressed in your planning.
Here are a few life changes which could impact your wills or powers of attorney:
- Have your named executor(s) or named attorney(s) passed away, moved away or developed a health difficulty which could interfere with their duties?
- Are your children now old enough to accept and manage the responsibility of an executor?
- Have children been born into your family?
- Has a beneficiary passed away or become disabled?
- Are your relationships with the people you appointed years ago still intact?
- Are your appointed guardians still able and willing? Are they living close enough to your present home that disruption to your children’s lives can be minimized?
- Perhaps your children are no longer in need of a guardian? (18 plus)
- Have you married? (marriage invalidates a previous will)
- Have you started or purchased a business which would make it appropriate to consider a secondary will?
We are happy to have a look at your documents and your plan periodically over the years to make sure it is still relevant and up to date.
The best time to embark on the process of planning for your Estate is now! But certain life events like getting married, having children or becoming the beneficiary of an estate yourself however, are excellent times to begin planning.
When the process is complete, we know that you will be amazed at how easy and understandable we made it for you, and you will live your life with more confidence and security, knowing your loved ones are cared for and that in the event of your disability, you will get the best care possible.