Planning Your Will

Planning Your Will Guide (pdf)


Wills & power of attorney


Hopefully, on your death, you have left a valid Will wherein you have appointed an Estate Trustee(s) (executor) to distribute your wealth in accordance with your wishes as set out in such Will.  There is more to the Estate Trustee’s role than that but for now let us leave that topic for another day.

Everyone's personal circumstances are unique. The listing of the following questions are not in any way intended to be exhaustive but hopefully will cause you to turn your mind to issues which you hadn't considered or having considered them wish advice.

  • What wealth falls into my estate and is dealt with by my Estate Trustee?
  • I hold assets as a joint tenant, what happens to those assets?
  • I've made RRSP beneficiary designations does my Estate Trustee receive authority over the wealth in the RRSP?
  • What tax planning issues ought I consider in my circumstances?
  • What are the qualities of a good Estate Trustee?  Should there be more than one?
  • What is the impact of my cohabitation, marriage or separation agreement on my freedom in disposing of my wealth.?
  • I have dependent children form a previous marriage, and my current marriage, how can my responsibilities to both be met?
  • What are probate fees and how much are they?
  • I have significant shares in a private company or assets in a foreign jurisdiction, and I have heard of multiple wills.  Is this a good idea in my circumstances?
  • What are executor fees?  How much are they?  When are they paid?
  • If both my spouse and I die and our children are not of age, what happens to the wealth and how is the wealth utilized for the children? Who takes care of the children?

We hope to be of assistance to you in drafting your Will. You can assist us by downloading the file PlanYourWill.pdf and turning your mind to the issues raised therein.


Power of Attorney

Granting a Power of Attorney (“POA”) is a useful tool in insuring that your financial and personal care matters can continue in the circumstance of you becoming incapacitated.  Of course, a POA can be utilized for other reasons such as convenience, for example a prolonged absence from your usual residence, say an overseas posting, may cause you to appoint someone to address your affairs while absent.  Usually though a POA is thought of a document which is necessary should you become incapacitated.  The advantage to having a POA in place is that you have authored same.  You have appointed the attorney, presumably a person of high moral character, and advised of your wishes or restrictions or conditions which attach to the use of such authority.  You have indicated whether the attorney should be compensated for his or her work or not.

As a person considering granting a power of attorney you will seek advice as to matters personal to you as well as the following:

When should the POA come into effect?
What power does the attorney have and can it be limited?
What duties and responsibilities are imposed on the attorney?
Should there be one attorney or more?
What are the consequences should I wish to compensate the attorney?
Is there a guideline as to the quantum of compensation the attorney can seek?
How many copies do I need?
I signed a POA at the bank, what does that do?
Can I have different attorneys for each of property or financial management and my own personal care?
What is a living will and where can I express my wishes as to health care directives?