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Ten Reasons to have a Will, and Personal and Financial Care Powers of Attorney

Ten Reasons to have a Will

Having an estate plan is essential to ensure your loved ones are secure. A Will; your road map as to the distribution of your estate after your death, is an essential part of an estate plan. Reasons for entering a Will are personal, however some reasons include:

  1. You decide who will inherit and how much they will receive

    Should you die without a Will, your estate will be divided according to a provincial government scheme, which is not likely what you would have wanted. For instance, some schemes do not recognize a common law spouse, while none of the provinces consider stepchildren.

  2. Beneficiaries with unique needs

    For those with minor children, a Will is essential to state who you wish to act as guardian for them. A Will also allows you to place conditions on the use of an inheritance and when a beneficiary may receive the funds. For those with beneficiaries who have special needs, a Will provides the opportunity to ensure an inheritance preserves provincial benefits, minimizes taxes and provides professional money management.

  3. You decide who will wind up your affairs

    A Will is your opportunity to name the person or persons who will administer your estate; assisting your loved ones through a difficult time. Should you not enter a Will, a court application will be necessary increasing the cost and frustration for your family.

  4. Avoid a lengthy probate process

    Probate is a court application which is both time consuming and costly. A well drafted Will can reduce the time and costs associated with probate.

  5. Minimize taxes

    A Will provides opportunities to reduce taxes paid by your estate; this can increase the amount paid to your loved ones after death.

  6. Deal with digital and sentimental assets

    As important as your monetary estate is, your assets with sentimental value, including digitally held assets, need to be considered too. Will planning ensures these assets are transferred to your loved ones in a fair manner, avoiding fighting and dissention.

  7. Giving back to your community; passing down your values

    Through charitable gifts, your Will allows you to pass your values down in a tax-efficient manner.

  8. Circumstances can change

    People often do not enter a Will as they feel they have inadequate assets to justify the cost. However, your wealth will grow, and a Will today provides protection in the future.

  9. Planning for future changes in your family

    A Will provides protection, should a beneficiary divorce or predecease you.

  10. You love your family

    If a person dies without a Will, those left behind endure an increased administrative burden, with little or no guidance as to your wishes, during their period of bereavement.

For more information speak with your Financial Advisor.

Ten Reasons to have Personal and Financial Care Powers of Attorney

An important element of your estate plan is personal and financial care powers of attorneys (“POAs”), providing for your personal care and the care of your assets, while you are alive but unable to do so. Reasons to consider POAs include:

  1. Someone you trust and is qualified is authorized to make decisions for you

    POAs provide you with the opportunity to ensure the right people or professionals are named to manage your finances and assist in your personal care.

  2. Your future wishes are known

    Some of the most important future decisions you face may be made by your attorney, including where you will live and your medical care. A POA provides a road map for your loved ones.

  3. You ensure that your representative can gift (or not gift) funds to your family

    Your attorney’s ability to gift or loan funds to your loved ones is limited unless you provide them that ability. A POA allows you to continue to assist your family when you are no longer able to do so.

  4. Your religious or personal values are known and honoured

    A power of attorney can be drafted to ensure your personal, ethical or religious values are known and are honoured by your family and the professionals who assist you.

  5. Convenience

    You can create a POA for a specific matter or a single transaction. This is a convenient way to complete transactions when you’re unable to physically be present.

  6. Tax minimization

    Without specific directions your attorney is limited in steps to take to limit your tax liabilities, including making charitable donations.

  7. Executing contracts on your behalf

    Your attorney not only provides financial oversight, they are also able to sign contracts on your behalf, including long-term care agreements and the sale of your house. Without a POA, your family will be hindered in providing that assistance.

  8. Instructing your financial advisor

    A financial advisor is hindered in administering the support and assistance to which you rely, if you are unable to provide instructions. A POA is essential to ensure financial management continues.

  9. Save funds and fighting

    Should you lose the ability to make financial care or personal care decisions, on your behalf, a court application may be required to allow someone to do so. That application can be expensive, cause significant delays and cause friction in your family.

  10. Protecting your children

    If you want to contribute to your children’s post-secondary education, you can specify that your attorney is authorized to do so. Without that direction, he or she will be limited in doing so.


For more information speak with your Financial Advisor.


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