WILLS & ESTATES
Why do I need a Last Will and Testament?
- To prepare your estate for distribution and administration after death;
- Makes it easy for loved ones to handle your after death affairs;
- Ensures that if your child is orphaned someone of your choice will be there to look after them;
- Specify your funeral arrangements;
- To choose who will be your executor and back up Executor;
- To specify who will receive your estate (the beneficiaries); and
- Establish trusts for your minor children;
What happens if you don't have a Will?
- You would die "intestate" which means, according to Canadian law, your Estate would be distributed according to law and not based on your own preferences;
- If you have a common law spouse they would not be entitled to any share in your Estate;
- Typically, if you have a spouse, they will have to share a portion of your Estate with the children (which can cause a hardship for your spouse);
- Not having a Will means you do not have an appointed Trustee which can cause delays and high expenses; and
- If you are separated, but not divorced, your spouse may be entitled to a share in your Estate.
- Guidance in drafting of your last Will and Testament that reflects what you want for your loved ones;
- Production of "Probatable" and "Non-Probatable" Wills for those with corporations and larger Estates; and
- Safe storage of your Last Will and Testament in accordance with the rules of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Power of Attorney
What is a Power of Attorney?
There are two different types of Power of Attorney.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care
- You appoint somebody to make medical and care decisions for you while you are alive.
Power of Attorney for Property
- You appoint somebody to make property and financial decisions for you while you are alive.
Why should I have a Power of Attorney?
Sometimes things happen in life, which we do not expect to happen. If you become hospitalized or become incapacitated then the ability to make every day decisions and transactions may become extremely difficult. Even day to day activities such as paying bills may become a hardship. Therefore, it is recommended that you make a Power of Attorney for both Personal Care and Property to allow someone you trust to make decisions for you if you become unable to do so.
Guidance in drafting your Power of Attorney for Personal Care and Power of Attorney for Property;
Safe storage of your Power of Attorney documents; and,
Peace of mind knowing that your Power of Attorney documents only will be released to your power of Attorney in accordance with your explicit instructions.
I am named as an Executor/Trustee. What do I do?
The Authority of the Executor is granted by the Will, not the grant of probate issued by the court. An Executor has full legal authority to deal with the assets of the deceased from the moment of the testator's (or Testatrix's) death. However, third parties may refuse to deal with the Executor until the Executor provides letters probate, as it protects third parties.
An application for probate can be time consuming. Trying to figure out what to do or which forms to use can be confusing. A completed application for probate provides the Executor with a Certificate of Appointment, which confirms that the Last Will and Testament is valid, confirms the Executor can administer the last wishes of the deceased and protects the Executor from liability.
- Complete the process so you may obtain a letters probate;
- Help you if the Will cannot be found or if there is none;
- Provide support and guidance when dealing with creditors and beneficiaries;
- Assist the Executor/Trustee to conclude the administration of the estate and distribution to the beneficiaries.
At Vanier & Associates we can help you plan your estate and draft a Will and a Power of Attorney. Contact us to make this small investment for your future and security.