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Estate & Personal Planning


All of us will eventually pass away, ENSURE YOUR AFFAIRS ARE IN ORDER! Having a valid Will alleviates your loved ones of the uncertainty, stress, and legal costs of settling your estate should you die without a valid last will and testament.

Will: A written instrument executed with the formalities required by statutes, whereby a person makes a disposition of his/her property (real and personal) to take effect after his death. (Black, Henry Campbell. Blacks Law Dictionary. 6th ed. St. Paul MIN, West Publishing CO, 1990.)

A Will is the first step in planning for the future - it is a legally binding and enforceable document defining what to do with all your property at the time of your death, and the Guardianship of your children until they reach the age of nineteen (In British Columbia).

The terms of a Will typically involve:
  • appointing executors to take control of your estate
  • paying out debts you may have - including income taxes and deemed disposition capital gains triggered by death
  • transferring your property to your beneficiaries on the terms you direct
  • appointing guardians for minor children
  • instructions regarding special funeral / burial or cremation arrangements
CLICK HERE to view the Will Checklist PDF
Please fill out, print and bring down to our office

Power of Attorney: This document allows your attorney (the person appointed by you) to manage your legal and financial affairs in your place, WHILE YOU ARE ALIVE. This is particularly useful if you become incapacitated due to physical or mental health problems, or in the event of your absence. Powers of Attorney may be restricted to specific purposes, or not, so that your attorney may deal with any affairs that may arise. You can appoint your spouse, adult child, close friend, family member, or person of trust. You should appoint an alternate just in case the person you appoint is ill, absent, or predeceases you. An attorney's authority can start from the moment the Power of Attorney is signed, or upon a "triggering event", it is essential that the person be trustworthy and available.

CLICK HERE to view the POWER OF ATTORNEY CHECKLIST PDF
Please fill out, print and bring down to our office

Representation Agreement: A Representation Agreement is a tool that allows your appointed representative to make personal and health care decisions for you. There are two types of Representation Agreements, Standard and Enhanced. Standard Representation Agreements cover routine financial and/or health care decisions, while Enhanced Representation Agreements give broader powers to the representative, including end of life decision making. These agreements are particularly important for people who do not have a spouse or children or for people who cannot rely on their family members due to distance or lack of communication or a difference in values. Your representative should be someone who is available, willing and competent to help you with health care and personal care decisions.

Advance Directives: Some people may think of an Advance Directive as a "Living Will". Health Care Directives or Advance Directives are vital documents for estate planning. They document instructions to doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers for your future healthcare. This ensures your wishes will be carried out by healthcare providers if you are unable to express them in the future. If you already have a Will, Power of Attorney, or Representation Agreement, you can still come in to ask for assistance in preparing this directive. It is important to note, that the Advance Directives are a set of instructions. It DOES NOT actually appoint the person who should make the decisions for you. It is directed to the health care provider and ELIMINATES consultation with family members. One should not do an Advance Directive without some serious consideration and consultation.