We all build our life by planning it. We choose what we will study, where we will work, how much we will earn, how we will spend our money. We set up goals and follow a plan to reach those goals. Estate planning is an integral part of life planning. It’s about our life and the quality of life of our closest loved ones after we pass away.
I very often hear: “I have nothing to plan. Everything I have will go to my children”. I will not argue that statement as, in most cases, it is correct. But how long will it take and how much will it cost the children, both emotionally and financially? An ordinary parent takes care of his/her children in his/her life by planning an excellent education, a well-paid job, and close family relations. Parents do their best to make it all happen. Why not make a Last Will and Testament which identifies beneficiaries, eases the process of obtaining the inheritance, and helps to avoid possible conflicts among the recipients? Why not take care of the children by making a guide as to how to distribute the estate, to ease the financial and emotional burden and help them live through the tough times after their parents pass away?
I see the particular importance of Will drafting for: Parents with minor children who want to define who would care for their small children in case of a family disaster when both parents pass away. Parents of children with disabilities who need to make sure that the children will be well taken care of after their parents’ death. People who are in a second marriage and have children from a previous marriage to whom they want to leave some assets. People who are recently separated or divorced and need to make sure that their former spouses will not get their inheritance.
Every family and financial situation is unique. Even if it looks simple and straightforward, some aspects need to be addressed in a Will in order to reflect the wishes of a testator. I have helped draft a Will for many people with different life scenarios. I have drafted very simple Wills and the most sophisticated Wills. Call or visit our office, and I will be happy to assist you in preparing your Will.
Changes to the existing will
You can make as many changes to your Will as you want. You can either rewrite the entire Will or make changes by a document called a “Codicil.” A Codicil is a testamentary document which has the same power as your Will. It must be drafted and witnessed with the same care as your Will. Call us today and I will help you to assess whether you need a new will or just a codicil.
Powers of Attorney
Another important aspect of estate planning that is worth considering is drafting Powers of Attorney for property and Powers of Attorney for personal care. These two documents usually accompany a Will drafting but have a completely different purpose. They save money, efforts, and the health of your closest relatives in the event of your incapability. Also, it gives you a chance to choose who will get access to your assets if you become incapable and who will make decisions about your health in the same situation.
Another important thing worth mentioning is that when a person becomes incapable and does not have Powers of Attorney in force, the only way to obtain these Powers of Attorney is to do so through a court application. This process is expensive and costs thousands of dollars.
Without a Power of Attorney for a property, the relatives/friends will not be able to sell the property of the incapable person. They will not be able to pay bills, to terminate a cell phone account or to obtain any governmental support payments for the incapable person, for example.
Without a Power of Attorney for health care, the relatives/friends will not be able to get medicine for the incapable person, consent to treatment, or to make a decision as to where the incapable person shall get treatment.
Call us today, and we will help you with the Powers of Attorney drafting.
We deal with all types of estate administration. People may have a Will, they may have no Will; they may pass away in Ontario and have relatives/beneficiaries abroad; they may pass away elsewhere and have assets in Ontario; some may have a Will and have assets in Ontario and abroad, and many more combinations of facts.
We have dealt with the above and other such situations and have helped estate representatives obtain the documents required for the inheritance of the estate from a court.
Call us today for details.
Please, download the Administration and Estate Intake form to start the process of administration of the estate and send the form back to us via email or fax.
Will Intake forms
Please download the Will Intake form, fill it in and send it back to us via email or fax.