Estates, Wills and Power of Attorneys

Last Will and Testament

What is a Will?

A Will a testamentary document that speaks from the time of death and in large part governs all the administration of all your assets after your death if done properly. Contact Key Law Professional Corporation and we can help you design a customized Will addressing your estate planning and wishes.

Why do I need a Will?

Estate Planning is a crucial aspect of our life and death. This is the opportunity to decide as to how and to whom we would like to distribute our assets. If you do not have a Will at the time of death or the Will does not address all of your assets, your beneficiaries can inherit your assets in accordance with the law of intestacy allowing the Courts to make decisions on how your assets get divided without your control. The Ontario Succession Law Reform Act, RSO 1990, c S.26 addresses the scheme of distribution on intestacy rules which may be against your wishes. In addition, Court appearances to sort out such matters can be time-consuming and expensive, so contact Key Law Professional Corporation to avoid any unnecessary costs by not having a Will in the first place.

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Estate trustee appointment applications

Where the deceased had a Will, the estate trustee’s authority derives directly from a Will, where (subject to certain exceptions), he/she is required to apply to the court for a Certificate of Estate Trustee with a Will (this process is called to “Probate the Will”). If your probate application is successful, the court will issue a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee, which is proof that a person has the legal authority to deal with the estate and is proof that the Will is valid.

On the other hand, the Estate Trustee Without a Will may not act with respect to the estate until such time as they are appointed by the Court.

Looking for lawyers for wills and estates? Key Law Professional Corporation will guide you through the process of applying to the court for a Certificate of Estate Trustee With or Without a Will, assist you with various transactions involving the estate, calculate the estate administration tax, and ensure that this process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Powers of Attorney

A Power of Attorney document will create an obligation for the person you select to act on your behalf in a manner only considering your best interests. If you do not have a Power of Attorney and you become incapable (i.e. sustain an injury during a serious car accident), you will have to get a court guardianship order, which is a supervised court process that amounts to thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Types of Powers of Attorney

What is a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property?

A Continuing Power of Attorney for property gives someone you select the authority to make decisions about your finances and property even when you lose the mental capacity to make those decisions (hence the “Continuing” remark in the title of this document).

What is a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

Power of Attorney for Personal Care commonly referred to as a Medical Power of Attorney, appoints an attorney to make personal care decisions when you are unable to. Specifically, to make decisions concerning your health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene, or safety. It is a good idea even for children who are 18 years of age to obtain a Power of Attorney.  In case of an unfortunate accident, the immediate family may deal with certain matters in accordance with the instructions contained in the Power of Attorney.

What is a Special Power of Attorney for Property?

A Special Power of Attorney for Property is a legal document that is generally used for a specific matter or time period to address financial or business affairs but cannot be used if you become mentally incapable. This document could be particularly of importance while being outside the country while your affairs must be dealt with such as selling your property.

What if I already have a Will or Power of Attorney, when should I update it?

If you already have a Will or a Power of Attorney, it is a good idea to review it every 3 to 5 years.  It is recommended that life changes such as marriage, separation, divorce, the birth of children, change of citizenship, and the acquisition of significant property are events that should require a review of your Will and a Power of Attorney(s).  Please contact us for a meeting where we can explore the best options for your estate planning.

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