- 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 have.

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.

Legal Fees:

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 david@davidfysh.com

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