Wills and Estate Planning
65% of Canadians don’t have a will and have not considered estate planning.
A Will, otherwise known as “Last Will and Testament” is a document that depicts your final wishes such as to who gets your property or money, funeral arrangements, and organ donation. If you don’t have a Will, then your assets will be divided as per current legislation. See video by LawPro, “Ever wonder what happens if you die without a will?”
Everyone should consider getting a solicitor to help them prepare a will if they don’t have one, or to review any will that hasn’t been updated recently.
Power of Attorney
In Ontario, there are two types of Power of Attorneys. One is for personal care and the other is for property.
The Power of Attorney for Personal Care is used when you are mentally incapable to make decisions regarding your medical treatment. In this document you are giving another person, a ‘substitute decision maker’, the right to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. Making a Power of Attorney for Personal Care allows you to decided what type of medical intervention or treatment you will receive if you are critically ill and as such, it ensures that your wishes regarding your care are respected.
The Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is used when you are mentally incapable to make decisions regarding your finances, possessions, and property. Unless, you limit their authority, your attorney will be able to do anything with your property that you would be able to do. But, your attorney cannot make a Will nor can they change your will. This is a very powerful document and as such, you want to make sure that the person that you are electing to be your attorney will act in your best interest. The Continuing Power of Attorney for Property only comes into effect the dated on which it is signed and witnessed.