The Will – End of Life Planning
When you are feeling young, healthy and immortal, the idea of creating a will seems unnecessary and even morbid. However, if you have children you should be discussing who might get guardianship of your children should anything happen to you. This person would be responsible for your children’s physical care, health care, education and general well being until they reach 18 years of age. If you do not name a guardian, there may be dispute among family members as to who is best suited to act as guardian, resulting in a need for court or provincial government involvement. Therefore, do not just assume your parents or other relatives will step in to take care of your little ones after you pass away.
If you run a small business, a Will gives you the chance to ensure it lives on long after your passing. This can help your beneficiaries avoid costly litigation over what your intentions were and who has rights to what. Similarly, a Will sets out who would administer your estate, and who is to receive your assets.
You can also use your Will to lay out exactly what you have in mind for your memorial service, especially if there are religious requirements or certain family traditions you want to uphold. Unless you write down your wishes, your family may not be able to carry them out, either because they have no way of knowing what it is you wanted, or there is disagreement among them.
Click here to learn why you need a lawyer to make a Will. Our wills and estates lawyers are eager to assist you in implementing estate planning techniques to minimize probate fees.
The Power of Attorney
The Power of Attorney is a document that allows a person of your choosing to handle your financial and legal affairs, including, at your option, if you become incapable of managing them yourself for medical reasons.
There are four types of Power of Attorneys: enduring, general, specific and durable. Please click here to learn more and how we can help you with this important decision. In addition, our lawyer can explain the difference between the four and help you make the correct decision for your circumstances.
See our Power of Attorney page for more detail.
The Representation Agreement
The Representation Agreement allows you to designate someone you trust to make health and personal care decisions for you should you not be able to make such decisions yourself. You may include your personal health care wishes in this document.
The person you appoint must follow the wishes that you expressed while capable as best as possible. There are two types of Representation Agreements. Please click here to learn more and how we can help you with this important decision.
This document allows you to state your decisions in writing regarding your future healthcare treatments in the event you are unable to communicate them. These decisions can include consenting to or refusing life support or life prolonging medical care interventions.
These directions must be followed by any healthcare practitioner who is aware of them and no one will be asked to make a decision for you. If a decision must be made and the situation was not addressed in the advance directive and you do not have a representation agreement a healthcare provider must make a reasonable effort to appoint a Temporary Substitute Decision Maker (as determined under the Health Care (Consent) and Care Facility (Admission) Act).
Please click here to learn more and how we can help you with this important decision.
Nomination of Committee
A committee is a person or institution who is appointed to make personal, medical, legal and/or financial decisions for an adult person who is mentally capable and cannot make those decisions for him or herself. The Nomination must be executed in accordance with the requirements for the making of a Will.
It is not enough to nominate a representative in a Nomination of Committee, however. A Court must appoint the nominee “unless there is good and sufficient reason for refusing the appointment.” Please click here to learn more about the court process regarding nominating a committee.