Regardless of the value of your assets, you have the right, and the obligation, to decide what will happen to your estate when you are no longer in a position to manage it yourself. Failure to write a Last Will and Testament will result in the government making these critical decisions for you.
Ontario Succession Law Reform Act: determines who is entitled to your assets.
Ontario Estates Administration Act: sets out who will be selected to manage your estate.
The outcome of these generic methods of disposing of assets will likely be far from what you would have decided to suit your family’s particular needs. A will allows you to design how your assets are distributed in a manner which is ideal for you. It allows you to provide for the welfare of your family and ensure the efficient management of your assets by a trusted person, of your choosing. Above all, it allows you to be heard regarding your children and belongings, even beyond the grave.
Perhaps the most important decision you will have to make in your life is deciding who will care for your children should you no longer be able to. It is important to choose someone whose parenting style and values closely resembles your own and who has the physical, financial and emotional means to care for your children. Ideally, you want someone who your children already have a relationship with. The consequences of not setting out clearly, in a Will, who will be named guardian to your children may involve family members fighting at the funeral home over who will take the children home.
It is often believed that there will be time later to take care of it; that the cost will be easier to bear in the future. It’s true… until it isn’t. What you are buying is not only the assurance that your wishes will be respected upon your demise, but peace of mind in the meantime.
These documents are just as important as your will. They are essential to maintain some control over your property, and personal choices, should you become physically or mentally incapacitated. A Power of Attorney gives another person the right to act on your behalf and a living will (Power of Attorney for Personal Care) allows you to decide ahead of time what you want to happen if you become ill and cannot communicate your wishes about medical treatment.
A properly written will or power of attorney carries the full weight of the law and courts consider them to be amongst the most sacred of documents because the writer is not in a position to explain or modify them. Considering their importance, it is recommended to get a lawyer to prepare these documents. Call 613.935.5919 today for a free consultation.