Should you become unable to manage your financial or personal affairs through illness, accident or aging, having these documents in place can give you peace of mind:
Enduring Power of Attorney – this is a document naming someone to act on your behalf to manage your finances. You can choose to have the Power of Attorney come into effect immediately when signed which would give your loved one the same powers as you to manage your finances at the same time as you, or it can come into effect only once you are incapable of managing your affairs and a doctor has signed a document stating this.
Personal Directive – often referred to as a “living will”, this document names someone to act on your behalf in all healthcare matters. Frequently hospitals and doctors will ask if you have this document in place before surgery.
Personal Directives and Powers of Attorney cease on death, and the Will takes over. The person you name as executor will have the authority and responsibility to make funeral arrangements and to manage your estate.
Wills – it is very important to have a will, even a basic simple one is better than none. If you die without a will, the provisions under the Intestate Succession Act will set out who is entitled to inherit, and it may not be what you wish. For instance a spouse does not get your entire estate under the Act.
Guardianship and Trusteeship Applications
If someone becomes a dependent adult, or is incompetent to manage their affairs and they do not have a Power of Attorney or Personal Directive in place, their loved ones have no choice but to apply for guardianship and trusteeship of the dependent adult through a court application. We can assist in this process.
Estates – When someone dies, if they have real property in their name alone, or if they have investments or bank accounts to administer, often probate of the will is required before the assets can be liquidated or transferred to beneficiaries. We assist with this process, from the application for probate (or administration if the person dies without a will) to the distribution of the assets.