Real Estate . Wills and Powers of Attorney . Estates
Purchasing a home? Download “Working With A Lawyer When Purchasing A Home”. The booklet is produced by the Ontario Bar Association and contains a great deal of important information including the considerations in choosing Title Insurance.
When you lose someone close to you, the legal procedures and seemingly infinite details can feel stressful and insignificant compared to the duress of grieving. Knowing what needs to be done to comply with proper legalities should not be your burden, so let us help you. Although we cannot take away the pain of your loss, we do strive to make the days that follow a little easier to endure.
Clients appointed as Estate Trustees (Executors) of a Will carry the burden of tying up the remaining affairs of their loved one. We help inform, guide and reassure you, to help you finalize the will, as quickly as possible. Many people don’t realize that they will be personally liable for their mistakes or improper conduct in looking after a deceased person’s affairs. We serve to help you carry out your estate responsibilities properly, without personal risk.
Some preliminary things that need to be done after a person passes away:
- Return their Driver’s Licence to the nearest office of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communication
- Return their Health Card to the Ontario Ministry of Health
- Return their Passport to the nearest Passport Issuing Office
- Cancel, destroy or return their Credit Cards and instruct the companies that issued the Credit Cards to close the Credit Card Accounts and send final bills
- Make Application for the Federal Death Benefit if applicable
Wills and Powers of Attorney
Wills and Powers of Attorney are two of the most important documents that you will ever sign. The list of benefits that will flow to your family from the act of your making a valid and enforceable Will and effective Powers of Attorney is practically endless. The benefits translate into fulfilled wishes and in savings in money and emotional turmoil.
We work with clients to ensure that their Wills and Powers of Attorney are valid and effective to ensure their wishes are realized. We apply our legal skills, training and experience by listening to our clients and by giving them advice about their plans. We then express those plans in written language that cannot be misinterpreted.
If our client has been working with an estate planner, investment adviser, insurance representative, accountant or a combination of such skilled advisers we will take down the details of the plans they have created and translate the various aspects of the plan into precise language that will implement those plans on death or incapacity. There may be some legal consequences of the plan that the other professionals have not had an opportunity to consider. We will work with those advisers and confer with them in order to ensure that the legal consequences are accounted for in the plan.
Wills and Powers of Attorney Myths and Facts:
Myth: ‘If I die without a Will everything goes to the government.’
Fact: If you die without a Will your estate will go to beneficiaries but they may not be the beneficiaries you want.
Myth: ‘It is just me and my spouse and the kids. If I die my spouse will get everything.’
Fact: Depending on how much you own, your spouse may not get everything. Your spouse may have to share your estate with your children. The Public Guardian’s office will hold your children’s share of the estate if they are underage.
Myth: ‘We really don’t have much now so we don’t need to make a Will.’
Fact: You need a Will to appoint guardians for your children if both of you die. There could be unexpected expenses and complications for your surviving family if you do not use a Will to name your Estate Trustee (Executor), the person responsible for administering your estate.
Myth: ‘If I become incapacitated, my spouse will look after me and my finances and care.’
FACT: Your financial affairs and care will come under the control of the Public Guardian the moment you become incapacitated unless you have written a Power of Attorney appointing your spouse to have responsibility for those things.