13 Oct Wills and Powers of Attorney
While it’s not always a popular topic, not having a Will means that you have not set out your unique wishes with respect to your estate. In turn, that means Ontario’s default provisions will apply to make decisions for you. Making a valid Will overrides the legislative defaults so that your personal wishes are carried out as you expect. This is usually advantageous for personal and for tax planning reasons. I have often found that the process also allows clients to take an overview of their financial situation (insurance, RRSPs, beneficiary designations, etc.) and gives you a chance to improve your financial outlook. Additionally, guardianship of minor children is addressed in a Will. Powers of Attorney are an important part of any estate plan as well. A Power of Attorney can help express your wishes in cases of mental incapacity or other inability to act on your own behalf. Generally, a POA for Property is drafted to deal with all of your property while you are alive and a POA for Personal Care (also known as a Living Will) deals with who can make health care decisions on your behalf and what your wishes are in that respect.
In my experience the hesitation some clients feel about estate planning is usually outweighed by their ability to sleep easier at night knowing that their personal affairs are in order. If you already have a Will/POA, it is advisable to review the documents every 5 years or sooner if there has been a change in circumstances. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation or to book a Will/POA meeting.