Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Trusts
Our lawyers draft wills, powers of attorney and trusts for people of all ages over the age of 18 with situations that range from the most straightforward to those with complexities such as blended families, disabled beneficiaries, corporate assets, and more.
It is important for all people over the age of 18 with the requisite mental capacity to make a will and powers of attorney. Why is this so important? So long as you have the mental capacity to do so, you should have a say in what happens to your assets, your real property, your savings, your sentimental personal effects, your business you have worked so hard to build. You should be able to state your wishes regarding who takes care of your minor children if something happens to you, who administers your estate, who manages your money and makes your personal care decisions if you become incapable of doing so. And you should be able to express your wishes about where you want to live, and whether you want life-sustaining treatment in certain situations or not.
In addition to all of these reasons, making a will and powers of attorney alleviates a huge burden from your loved ones by removing the guess work for them regarding your wishes and by simplifying the estate administration process during a time when they are already under stress because of your incapacity or grieving because of your death.
If it is so important to make wills and powers of attorney, then why have such a large percentage of Canadian adults not made them? We have heard a variety of reasons for this:
- “I don’t have time to make a will and powers of attorney” – No matter how much time it takes you to gather your information together and come in to see us to do your will and power of attorney planning, it will most certainly take your loved ones much longer to gather all of your information together and make your decisions or administer your estate for you if you have not organized this yourself. You may not have the time to do this work now, but is it fair to leave a mess behind for your loved ones when they will already be dealing with your incapacity or grieving your death?
- “I don’t need to make a will or powers of attorney because I am married. Can’t my spouse make my decisions for me if I am incapable and doesn’t everything just go to my spouse after I die?” – The short answer, to many people’s surprise, is no, not necessarily.
- “I don’t want to spend the money on making a will and powers of attorney with a lawyer” – Trust us, not making a will and powers of attorney is much more expensive than making them. Because we do guardianship applications and estate administration at our firm, we have seen countless families having to spend tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars, in cases where their loved one did not make a will and powers of attorney resulting in costly court applications.
Wills, powers of attorney, and trusts can include: