Wills and Estates
Wills and Powers of Attorney
Estate Planning in its basic form consists of creating a Will and Powers of Attorney. It may also include the creation of Trusts and the completion of property transfers while the Testator is alive. Whether your estate plan will be basic or complex depends on your individual circumstances including your marital status, corporate assets, real estate assets, family structure and financial situation.
A Will is a document which names a person or persons to administer your property (Estate), after you pass. It also provides for the distribution of your property, and allows for you to decide who will inherit from you and what they will inherit. Without a Will, the distribution of your Estate will be completed pursuant to the rules outlined in the Succession Law Reform Act. Thus, if you have specific wishes with respect to the distribution of your Estate, it is imperative that you retain a lawyer to assist with your Estate Planning.
A Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care name one or more persons to act as your Attorney, during your lifetime. A Power of Attorney for Property names one or more persons to act as your fiduciary agent for your property and gives your Attorney either limited or expansive powers to deal with your property, while you are alive. If you become incapable of managing your property and you do not have a Power of Attorney for Property in place, the Public Guardian and Trustee for Ontario will take control of your property on your behalf. If family members or friends wish to take control of your property, they will have to apply to the Ontario Superior Court to be appointed your Statutory Guardian. These processes are costly and time consuming. Ensuring your Power of Attorney for Property is in place prior to your inability to manage your property is important.
A Power of Attorney for Personal Care gives your Attorney the power to make medical decisions for you in the event you are not capable of making decisions for yourself. A properly prepared Power of Attorney can help guide your Attorney through what may be a difficult time, and ensure you are cared for in accordance with your wishes.
Estate Planning is an opportunity to look ahead and decide in advance how your property will be distributed, and to ensure both you and your loved ones are cared for. Please contact GNPC to discuss our Estate Planning services and obtain a fee quote.
Another service GNPC offers is estate administration work. When a loved one passes away, it is often a difficult and overwhelming time. There are also legal matters that need to be seen to. We can assist with applying to the Superior Court of Justice for a Certificate of Appointment, which is often required in order for the Estate Trustee to administer the deceased’s Estate. Further, we can assist with the steps of estate administration that include valuing the deceased’s property, contacting asset holders and beneficiaries, and ensuring the deceased’s taxes and business affairs are managed properly. Please contact GNPC to discuss our Estate Administration services and fees.