Wills & Estates WILLS & ESTATES As we all know there are only two things that are certain, and they are the two things we wish we could just forget about: Death and Taxes. Making plans for what will happen in the future doesn't have to be a topic to avoid. Having a will in place ensures that your family and loved ones will be taken care of and that your wishes will be carried out. Once complete, it is one less thing you'll have to stress about. One short appointment to take instructions, and another to review and sign documents, and you can file it away and get on with enjoying your life. If you have a partner, child or assets, you should have documents in place giving instructions on your wishes in the event of your incapacity or death. What does a Will do? Many people may believe that their family or loved ones will know and be able to agree on what should happen with assets and minor children in the event of their death. Unfortunately, with emotions running high, often many different views emerge as to what your wishes would have been. This leaves a lot of uncertainty as to what will happen with your assets and minor children, and may ultimately be left to a court to decide. In getting a will done, you are able to choose who will be your executor, who will take care of your children, and how your assets will be distributed. It is critical to have these listed in a legal document in order to avoid the uncertainty and possible litigation. What is an Enduring Power of Attorney? While a will deals with matters in the event of your death, a legal document is still required in the event that you are alive but unable to make decisions for yourself as a result of an accident or illness. An Enduring Power of Attorney will ensure that your financial affairs and your property are dealt with by a trusted individual in the event of your incapacity. Without an Enduring Power of Attorney, if you become incapacitated, no one is able to manage your affairs unless they make an expensive, time consuming application to the court for trusteeship over you, and you will have no control as to who may make that application. What is a Personal Directive? Also known as an Advance Health Care Directive or Living Will, a Personal Directive is much the same as an Enduring Power of Attorney, as it comes into play while you are still alive but unable to make decisions for yourself. The difference is that a Personal Directive appoints an agent who will then have the ability to make decisions regarding your personal matters. This includes such things as medical treatments, living arrangements and end of life decisions. Without a Personal Directive, if you become incapacitated, no one is able to make those personal decisions without making a costly and time consuming application to the court for guardianship over you, and again, you will have no control as to who makes such an application. One visit to our office and we can get you set up with a Will, Power of Attorney, and Personal Directive as necessary. Current pricing* exclusive of GST Will for an individual - $400 Enduring Power of Attorney for an individual - $150 Personal Directive for an individual - $150 Package for Individual (includes one Will, one Enduring Power of Attorney and one Personal Directive) - $600 Wills for a couple (mirroring each other) - $600 Enduring Power of Attorney documents for a couple - $200 Personal Directive documents for a couple - $200 Package for a Couple (includes two mirror Wills, two Enduring Power of Attorneys and two Personal Directives) - $850 *Prices are subject to change. Additional fees may apply for complex clauses. ESTATES Having a loved one pass away is an emotional time. The last thing you want to have to worry about is the paperwork required to properly distribute the estate. Let us ease your burden by assisting you in applications for a Grant of Probate or a Grant of Administration. What is a Grant of Probate? When a person passes away with a will, they appoint an executor to manage the estate. Often, depending on the value of the estate and the type of assets left behind, a Grant of Probate is necessary. This is a matter of filing paperwork with the court, so that the courts can ensure that the necessary beneficiaries have been notified regarding their entitlement and to ensure that the estate is being properly managed. If an estate requires Probate, then the assets cannot be distributed until such time as the courts approve of your application for a Grant of Probate. Let us manage that paperwork for you. What is a Grant of Administration? A Grant of Administration is much the same as a Grant of Probate, except that it is the application required if a person passes away without a will. If you have a loved one who has passed away who did not have a will, contact us and we will guide you through the process, and help you determine who the most appropriate person is to make such an application. What about Life Insurance? When someone passes away, the collection of life insurance can require time and attention. If you are struggling with how to collect on a life insurance policy you are entitled to, please give us a call and we can help you navigate through that process.