Wills, Personal Directives and Powers of Attorney play a significant role in your estate planning. They permit you to structure your affairs both during your lifetime and after your death in accordance with your wishes. If you don’t have a Will, your estate will be dealt with in accordance with the statutory scheme for intestate succession or the law governing guardianship of people unable to manage their own affairs.  Having a Will makes administering your estate easier, clearer, faster and less expensive.

Estate Planning and Wills

The preparation of a Will and associated estate planning presents an opportunity for you to organize your affairs in a manner that provides for your loved ones as you think best. Each Will is as individual as the person making it, so it is important to get the guidance that will ensure your needs and intentions are met and that your Will conforms with all applicable laws.  There are a number of circumstances which might warrant a review and possible revision of your previous will and estate plan.

Although a carefully drafted will should contemplate the possible death of a beneficiary or personal representative, the death of an personal representative or of a principal beneficiary might justify redrafting the will.

A  Power  of  Attorney  is  a  written  document  whereby  the  Donor  appoints  an  Attorney  to  act  on behalf of the Donor in relation to financial matters of the Donor.  The Power of Attorney can be limited either in respect of the powers of the Attorney or the assets of the Donor, or both, or can be  of  general  application  over  all  of  the  financial  matters  and  assets  of  the  Donor  and  be  unlimited in its powers.  The difference between a normal Power of Attorney and an EPA is that the  EPA  will  continue  in  effect  even  though  the  Donor  may  at  a  later  time  become  mentally incapacitated and lose the ability to be able to cancel or revoke the EPA.

A Personal Directive is like a living will, which outlines end-of-life wishes, but it’s broader. A personal directive can be about all health care decisions, where you live, the activities you take part in, etc.  You choose one or more persons you trust to make personal decisions for you if, in the future, you can’t make them yourself because of illness or injury. The person(s) you choose is called your agent.  You write a personal directive when you can still make your own decisions.   If you get better, you can take back the power to make your own decisions.

It is the policy of Thom Law Office to keep fees for these services very reasonable to encourage people to make a Will.   The cost of our basic Will is $200 plus GST.

When a loved one dies our office can assist in the probating of the estate, whether there is a will or not.  We will sit down with the family and discuss the legal issues involved in probate, the requirement to file Income Tax Returns, the responsibilities of an executor and the rights of beneficiaries.  Our goal is make estate administration straightforward, less stressful and cost effective.