Estate planning with your Burnaby notary
Estate planning provides you with two main benefits: first, it lets you select persons to take care of the people you care about; and second, it lets you decide who will care for you. Without an estate place, often the government will make the decision for your family unless someone applies to the court to gain the power to either distribute your estate or to care for you. Paul Williams, Notary Public, can assist you with each of the following estate planning tools: Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements.
Writing Your Will
A Will enables you to set aside a portion of your estate for each person you care for, your beneficiaries, and to decide who will make that distribution, your Trustees, for you. You may prepare a Will separately from your spouse or attend the meeting together. Anything that you say to a Notary remains private and will not be disclosed to anyone. Your legal representative will need to ask you about your family structure, relationship history, the property you own, your financial obligations or debts, the persons you select as your Trustees (or executors) and the share of your estate that each beneficiary will receive. Usually, people adults select their spouse as a primary beneficiary with children receiving subsequently. Your Notary will advise you on the legal implications of your decisions. Your Will deals with events after your passing. Without a Will the court decides the distribution of your estate, based on a set of rules; and, your spouse (and family members) cannot speak to any financial institutions on your behalf without a Will. Preparing a Last Will and Testament can remove a lot of stress from your family and friends.
Powers of Attorney
With a Power of Attorney, you can appoint persons (or Attorneys) to manage your financial and legal affairs. Through an Enduring Power of Attorney, you can also appoint persons to make financial and legal decisions for you after your incapacity. Your Attorneys can pay bills, buy insurance, make investments, file taxes and buy or sell your property. Often adults choose their spouse as an Attorney and an adult child or close friend as a second Attorney. The decision on who will be your Attorneys lies with you. Your Notary will advise on the importance of selecting persons you trust because the document gives your Attorneys the power to do anything that you may lawfully do. The law in British Columbia requires that your Attorneys use the powers given them for your benefit and their own benefit, profit or advantage. You may also cancel your Power of Attorney (or change Attorneys) at any time, while capable. A Power of Attorney cannot assist you with your personal care or health care needs.
The Representation Agreement lets you select persons to manage your personal and health care needs. Many adults will choose to make a (section 9) Representation Agreement. However, in situations where an adult parent or child begins to show signs of dementia or experiences delays, a (section 7) Representation Agreement allows the Representative to help the adult make decisions related to personal care, minor and major health care, and routine management of financial decisions. Often adults choose their spouse as their Representative and an adult child or close friend as an Alternate Representative. The law in British Columbia requires that your Representatives speak with you to determine your wishes and comply with them when making decisions on your behalf. Your legal representative can also help you with setting out your wishes related to resuscitation, heroic measures, and being kept alive. You may cancel your Representation Agreement (or change Representatives) at any time if you have the capacity.
Your Will, Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement help you and your family to prepare for unforeseen events. The Will sets out the distribution of your estate and appoints persons to manage your estate. A Power of Attorney appoints persons you trust to make financial and legal issues for you. The Representation Agreement enables you to select persons to care for your personal and health care needs. During these unprecedented times, the need to have estate planning documents in place has become an important concern for many individuals and families.