A carefully considered and drafted will (perhaps you even require multiple wills to address taxation issues?) is the foundation of your estate planning regime. If you do not have a valid will at the time of your death, or you have a will that is later declared to be invalid by the court, then your estate planning regime may be totally or partially defeated and your estate may pass to next of kin beneficiaries that you would not have chosen to benefit.
Our process is to sit down with each client in a first meeting and discuss:
- their wishes;
- the nature of their assets;
- their questions and consider their concerns;
- possible obstacles or pitfalls in their instructions and possible means of addressing such problems;
- a quotation for the document(s) to be drafted based on their complexity.
After this first meeting we send drafts of the documents for the client to review at their own leisure and invite them to contact us by telephone, email or through a subsequent face to face meeting to discuss the drafts and address any questions that have arisen or changes that should be made.
Once drafts have been approved by the client we have a final meeting in our offices to ensure that the documents are signed according to the strict formal requirements of the laws in our jurisdiction. Original documents are provided to the client for safekeeping and a copy is retained by the firm.
It has been our overwhelming experience that most clients will instruct us to prepare a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Personal Care at the same time as we prepare their Will. Powers of Attorney, in simple terms, appoint someone to be your decision maker in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself. Most commonly our clients express a concern that they may suffer a prolonged period of illness, have an accident or experience a degenerative condition that may render them unable to care for themselves in the future. By preparing these Powers of Attorney to appoint a manager of your financial affairs and your medical decisions you can clearly designate your best choice to make such decisions and empower them with the correct legal document to be presented to banks, nursing homes, Canada Revenue Agency and other institutions or individuals who may demand proof of their authority.
We can assist you in preparing these documents, signing them and witnessing them so that they are legally binding. Just as importantly, we can talk you through the process of selecting the best candidates for these roles to ensure that you have picked someone who will provide you with the diligent care you desire and who will not let you down in a fundamental way that leaves you exposed to financial ruin or poor medical attention.