Wills & Estate Planning
According to a survey released by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Co. (LawPRO) in 2012, 56% of Canadian adults do not have a signed will and 71% do not have a signed power of attorney. Death is a topic people rather not talk about or want to consider or deal with. If you want to leave clear instructions on the distribution of your estate (no matter the size), the only way to do so effectively is by a Will, otherwise your assets will be distributed according to the law by the court, which may, and often times, not be according to your wishes.
Everyone who has assets, no matter how small, should have a Will. The additional pain, the grief and cost you inflict on your family and loved ones left behind if you do not make a Will can be substantial.
Power of Attorneys
Continuing Power of Attorney for Property (called by different names in other Provinces) – This is a legal document which you give to another person the legal authority to make decisions about your finances. If you do not appoint a power of attorney while you are capable, the court or the Public Guardian and Trustee will appoint a guardian to do so for you, if you become incapable.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care (called by different names in other Provinces) – This is a legal document which you give another person the authority to make decisions on your personal care if you become mentally incapable of doing so for yourself. Again, if you do not appoint a power of attorney for your personal care while you are capable, a court may appoint a guardian for some or all of your personal care if you become incapable.
Probate – This is a court procedure where the court formally approves the Will as the valid last will of the deceased, and gives the Executor or Trustee the authority to act on behalf of the deceased (executor or trustee of the estate).
Everyone should be able to plan for their future, and even after death. To avoid assets being divided by the court, it is important for clear after-death instructions to be left in a Will for the receiving beneficiaries. ACLS will afford you that opportunity – call us first.