Wills and Powers of Attorney -
Many people feel they don't have enough money or possessions
to warrant having a Will. A Will is necessary however, to ensure
that things are taken care of as you wish. If you die
without a Will, there are specific rules within the law that
dictate who will receive shares of your estate and in what
proportion, based on their relationship to you.
If you have a Will, it is important to understand how changes
in your life may affect the contents of your Will, and to have it
updated when necessary. If, for example, you made a Will
when you were single, a subsequent marriage will invalidate your
Will in most circumstances.
As you may be aware, simple Wills are now available in
stationery stores or by mail order. Be aware that these
kits often lack critical information, and are usually incapable
of accommodating all but the simplest of family situations.
You are an individual with your own unique history and
preferences - can a "one-size-fits-all" Will kit really
address your specific situation? The answer is usually No. There
is no substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a lawyer to
ensure that your Will will distribute your estate as you intend
and to ensure that the proper signing formalities are observed
for your Will to be valid.
Powers of Attorney
Powers of Attorney are intended to deal with situations where
you are alive but mentally incapable of making your own
decisions. The term "attorney" in these documents
refers to the person you name to manage your affairs in this
event. This person can legally do anything that you could
do with your assets, other than change your Will.
There are two Powers of Attorney available. The first
is the Power of Attorney for Property which covers
things such as paying your bills and managing your
investments. The second is the Power of Attorney for
Personal Care, sometimes referred to as a "living
will"; which deals with personal care decisions including
your wishes in the event that you are being kept alive by
artificial means with no prospect for recovery. In both of
these Powers of Attorney you are free to provide specific
instructions or limitations on the power that your attorney will
If you do not have Powers of Attorney and you become mentally
incapable, you will not be able to make a Power of
Attorney. In this situation, the Office of the Public
Guardian and Trustee (a government office) will be in charge of
administering your affairs unless a relative comes forward to
apply to be your guardian. This application requires
extensive legal documentation and costs that are not necessary
for those who have Powers of Attorney.
Please note that it is also possible to create a limited
Power of Attorney for Property in a situation where mental
incapacity is not an issue such as a Power of Attorney to deal
with a specific asset or your absence from the country for a
period of time.
I have a number of flat fee packages available for both
individuals and couples regardless of the size of your
estate. Please contact my office for details and I will be
happy to answer any further questions you may have and quote you
my costs. All fees are subject to HST.
Send E-mail to David Fysh at email@example.com