sure your affairs are settled according to your wishes. Start
by focusing on the basics, which include a properly drafted
Will, the selection of an executor and a Power of Attorney.
Will is arguably the most important component of your estate
plan. If you die without one, you're said to have died "intestate".
When this happens, the provincial government steps in and
settles your estate for you, deciding who receives your assets,
based on guidelines that vary by province. If there is no
surviving spouse, the government may also be responsible for
naming guardians for your children. The simple way to avoid
losing control of your estate is to draft a Will.
you can attempt to write a Will yourself using a kit, it's
generally advisable to go the professional
route to minimize the opportunity for misinterpretation.
Although cost to develop your Will increase based on the complexity
of your estate, a basic Will can
be drafted for a reasonable fee - money well spent if it helps
to avoid legal battles later on.
some people, preparing a Will can be daunting task. But if
you think of it merely as your instructions for how you want
your estate settled, it's not nearly so intimidating. To be
effective, your Will should:
► Identify your executor the
person(s) who will act on your behalf
► Name guardians for any minor
or dependent children
► Detail income provisions
for your dependants
► Set out your funeral instructions
► Document the terms of any
trusts to be established
► Detail special bequests and
the distribution of specific assets such as heirlooms, antiques,
art, and collectibles
► Direct your executor to pay
off your debt
► Specify how the remainder
of your estate is to be distributed, after all bequests have
Your Power of Attorney (PA’s)
key estate planning document is the Power of Attorney,
which allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial
affairs on your behalf, should you become unable to do so
while you are alive.
a Will, a Power of Attorney is best drafted by a professional
who can assist you in defining the circumstances under which
it can go into effect, and how much authority your named representative
will have. If you don't have a Power of Attorney and you become
incapacitated, the public trustee of your provincial government
will take over the management of your finances.
Living Will, also known as a Power of Attorney for
personal care, allows you to appoint someone to act on your
behalf to make health-care decisions should you become incapacitated.
It also allows you to stipulate the particular care you want
or don't want in certain situations.
in mind that the person(s) you select to act on your behalf
may be faced with difficult decisions (such as rejecting certain
treatments) that could affect your well-being and quality
of life. Be sure to discuss your intentions with family and
friends to make sure your wishes are not overruled.
some provinces provide government forms for this purpose,
you're best to have a Living Will prepared by a lawyer when
you are drafting your Will and Power of Attorney.
The information contained in this commentary is designed
to provide you with general information only, and is not intended
to be comprehensive advice applicable to the circumstances
of any individual. We strongly urge you to seek professional
assistance before acting upon information included herein.