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Chrysalis End of Life Care

Wills, Power of Attorney and Personal Directive

During these unprecedented times having a Will, Personal/Medical Directive, and an Enduring Power of Attorney is imperative. If you pass away without a will, administrating your estate is often longer and more expensive. The law in Canada defines this as dying “intestate,” which means there is no instruction on how to divide or distribute your assets and the disposition of your body. The government proceeds to make decisions on your behalf with little or no input from loved ones. Protect you and your loved ones now while you have a say.


WILLS

A will, or a last will and testament, is a legal document that describes how you would like your property and other assets to be distributed and how you would like your disposition handled after your death. When you make a will, you can also use it to nominate guardians for your children, dependents, or pets.

FOUR LEGAL TERMS YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Testator: The person who creates a will

Executor: The person that the testator appoints to carry out their will

Beneficiaries: The people or organizations who are left bequests (cash gifts or other assets) in the will by the testator

Probate: is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence of the deceased at the time of death in the absence of a legal will.

When you pass away with a will, the will is usually presented to a local probate court. This court then authorizes the executor to distribute your assets according to the instructions in your will—as long as there are no disputes or other problems. If you pass away without a will, it is called dying 'intestate.' In those cases, a local court will distribute your property according to your province's intestacy laws. These typically give your spouse or partner, children, parents, siblings or other relatives a part of your property. But this may not necessarily be in the order or amounts you would like.

Many people assume that they are "too young" to need a will. Some people believe that they don't own enough assets or have a big enough net worth to necessitate a will. You might even think it's too late to start your first will. 

POWER OF ATTORNEY

A power of attorney is a legal document that you sign to give one person, or more than one person, the authority to manage your money and property on your behalf. In most of Canada, the person you appoint is called an “attorney.” That person does not need to be a lawyer.

Among other requirements, you must be mentally capable at the time you sign any type of power of attorney for it to be valid. In general, to be mentally capable means that you are able to understand and appreciate financial and legal decisions and understand the consequences of making these decisions. However, the legal definition of mental capacity will vary based on the laws in each province or territory.

PERSONAL DIRECTIVE

A personal directive is a legal document you make in case you cannot make your own personal decisions in the future. A personal directive:

~ is optional, voluntary and highly recommended 

~ names the person or people you have picked to make personal decisions for you – the person you name on the personal directive is called an agent

~ensures your written instructions are known in case something happens to you

~only comes into effect if you are found to lack capacity – that means you are not able to make your own decisions

~can be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT) – if you and your agent consent to having your contact information included in the registry.

Everyone needs a will.


Please contact me for pricing.

587.985.1597

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