WILLS + ESTATES
Affordable. Legal. Online. Quick.
SOME INFO YOU MAY FIND HELPFUL
You may want to consider doing not only a Will, but also a Personal Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney. You don’t need to of course, but it can be more cost effective to do all of them at once. Here is some basic information to about each so you can consider your options:
WILLS: A Will is a disposition or declaration by which the person making it provides for the distribution or administration of property after his death. It is vital to have a valid and complete will to be sure your property goes to the right place and, more importantly, to be sure nobody will tie up your estate in costly and drawn-out litigation. If you have underage children you will need to properly incorporate guardianship and perhaps trust provisions and, depending on the size and type of assets, taxation matters may need to be addressed. In addition, there are certain requirements with respect to form, content, and execution that must be complied with in order for the will to be valid and enforceable. It is important, therefore, to have the assistance of a qualified lawyer when drafting your Will.
ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY: An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) is a formal instrument by which one person authorizes or empowers another person to act on their behalf with respect to property and financial affairs. Should you become physically or mentally unable to manage your financial affairs your attorney (the person you appoint in the EPA) can do so for you. This can save literally thousands of dollars should such a need arise. Without an EPA, a relative would need to apply to court for a Dependant Adult Trusteeship Order. Such an order would be necessary, for example, to allow them access to your bank account to pay your rent and thus avoid eviction—or to pay your credit card bills or mortgage and thus avoid accumulation of interest or foreclosure on your home. Acquiring such an order could cost several thousand dollars and take weeks or months to acquire. It may be wise, therefore, to have a properly drafted and executed EPA so that, if the situation arises, someone you trust is legally authorized and empowered to deal with your property and finances.
PERSONAL DIRECTIVE: A Personal Directive is a legal document that you can write in case something happens and you cannot make decisions about personal matters (that are non-Financial in nature) such as: medical treatments you would or would not want, where you would like to live, who you would like to live with, and choices about other personal activities (recreation, employment or education). Without a personal directive relatives and friends do not have legal rights to make personal decisions for you as an adult. A Dependent Adult Order granting guardianship rights would need to be obtained in order for relatives or friends to make personal decisions on your behalf.