Wills & Estates

 

Wills

We meet with you initially for your instructions, which may include the review of existing wills, providing legal advice and answering questions. After preparation of the Will, there is a second meeting with you to review and execute it. This is also when we prepare Affidavits of Execution and have them signed and commissioned.

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WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the power to act on your behalf. This person is called your "attorney". In Canada the word "attorney" usually does not mean lawyer, as it does in the USA.

We meet with you to obtain your instructions, provide legal advice and answer questions. A second meeting with you is held to review and execute these documents. We also prepare Affidavits of Execution and attend to have them signed and commissioned.

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POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PROPERTY

You can give someone a Power of Attorney for Property if you want them to help you manage your finances, or you are worried about becoming unable to manage them. You can also give a Power or Attorney for Property for a limited time. For example, if you plan to be out of the country for a while, you might want someone else to manage your property only while you are away.

Unless you limit your Attorney's authority, they can do almost anything with your property that you can do. However, your Attorney cannot make or change your Will, or give a new Power of Attorney on your behalf. Your Attorney can act for you in financial dealings, such as banking, signing cheques, buying or selling real estate, and buying consumer goods.

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POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PERSONAL CARE

You can give someone a Power of Attorney for Personal Care if you want them to make personal care decisions on your behalf if you become mentally incapable of making them yourself. Personal care decisions are decisions about your health care and medical treatment, diet, housing, clothing, hygiene, and safety.

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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PROPERTY AND FOR PERSONAL CARE

A Power or Attorney for Property gives your Attorney the power to make decisions about your finances, home, and possessions. A Power of Attorney for Personal Care deals only with personal care decisions.

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Corporate Wills

A Corporate Will is a separate Will which deals only with the transfer of the shares, assets, payments of debts, etc. of a personal corporation. It permits the seamless transition of control and smooth operation of a company following the death of the owner. The owner's estate may save substantial monies as a result of having a separate Corporate Will as "probate" fees will not have to be paid with respect to the value of the corporation. The shares are simply transferred by the Estate Trustee to the beneficiary of beneficiaries named in the Will. There is no need to value the company for probate purposes which could involve significant expense and delay.

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Living Wills

Instructions to family and physicians regarding your decisions for final care.

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Mutual Wills

These wills are usually done for two people giving instructions that their Wills cannot be changed without the written consent of the other person.

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Estates

After someone dies, the estate needs to be administered, whether or not the deceased person had a Will. Meeting with the person, who is being appointed the Estate Trustee (formerly called executor) in order to determine what needs to be done to administer the estate, including applying for the Government to probate (prove) the will and giving the Estate Trustee the authority to act. Providing legal advice and answering questions on the estate administration including the duties of the estate trustee; gathering and collapsing assets, both those inside and outside the jurisdiction of the will, payment of liabilities and bequests, communicating and obtaining releases from the beneficiaries, as well as preparation of estate trustee accounting if required.

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Estate Litigation

Representing your interests in connection with an estate, either as beneficiary, estate trustee, or potential beneficiary advising you about your rights under the laws of Ontario that govern the administration of estates, including the Succession Law Reform Act, The Estates Act, The Trustees Act, and the Family Law Act. Negotiating your position and working with you to obtain the best settlement possible.

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Rates and Fees

Please see the page with our Rates and Fees on this site.

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