What is estate planning?
A comprehensive estate plan includes having a valid Will in place, a Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement/ Personal Directive. These three documents are created to assist you and ultimately ensure your assets are in good hands.
If you are married, have young children, own a business, or have property, it is important to have a Will. Having a Will means your chosen beneficiaries will receive the benefit of your estate. If you do not have a Will in place, you are considered to die intestate, meaning the government dictates how your property is distributed.
A Power of Attorney appoints someone to assist with financial or legal decisions if you become incapable of doing so. There are two different types of Power of Attorney documents: Enduring Power of Attorney, which would grant attorney power over your financial affairs upon signing the document and Springing Power of Attorney, which typically will only be in effect when a doctor determines that you are mentally incapable.
A Representation Agreement/Personal Directive appoints someone to assist with your medical decisions and personal care matters if you become incapable of doing so yourself. You are able to authorize your representative to act based on the specific health care instructions you have put into place.
It is important not to let your estate planning documents collect dust. Creating an estate plan is one step and ensuring your estate plan is current and up to date is another step. Significant life changes, death of a beneficiary, marriage or divorce, and even a change of heart could give rise to the need for an updated estate plan.
Under the Wills Estates and Succession Act, a Will can be challenged and contested. Therefore, it is important to seek a lawyer’s advice and expertise when preparing your estate plan. At Crossroads Law, we work with you to protect your assets and ensure your wishes result in less taxes and expenses to the estate. Our experience allows you to have peace of mind. We offer flat fee pricing which consists of a comprehensive estate plan meeting to discuss the best way to structure your estate, the drafting of your estate plan documents and the execution of those documents.
Contact one of our estate lawyers for a free consult