Ana Kraljevic Law Firm

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Wills and Estates

Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney allow you to name a person or people to assist you with respect to medical, personal care decisions and financial decisions if you are alive, but become unable to make those decisions for yourself. If you become physically incapacitated or cognitively impaired, and cannot make either personal care or financial decisions on your own, the attorney you have appointed can make those decisions for you. If you do not have a power of attorney, family members may have to apply to be your guardian, which is a complex and expensive process. In other cases, the public trustee and guardian for the province of Ontario may be appointed to make those decisions for you.

It is always recommended that you consult with your lawyer and put your mind to making these important decisions in advance of these circumstances arising.  

Power of Attorney for Personal Care

This document will permit a person or persons to make decisions only in respect of your medical or personal care should you be unable to do so. Without a Power of Attorney your family members, including your spouse, cannot automatically step in to make these personal decisions for you.  In these cases, a Power of Attorney may be appointed through the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. 

Power of Attorney for Property

This document will permit a person or persons to make decisions for you about your financial affairs.  The power of attorney can become effective at the time of signing or when you become mentally incapable. The selection of your attorney is crucial as you must be able to trust this individual (or individuals) not to abuse the power of attorney and to only make decisions that are in your best interest.  

Last Will and Testament

What is a will and why do I need one?

A last Will and testament allows you to name beneficiaries and set out a plan for how you wish for your assets to be distributed after your death. You can appoint a person to administer the estate, namely, the executor.  The executor is in charge of carrying out the provisions set out in your will.  You can choose whether or not to have this person remunerated or whether to appoint more than one executor.  You can also appoint a legal guardian for your children if they are under the age of 18.

Having a Will is important if you have specific intentions about how you want your estate to be divided. If you die without a Will your property will be divided among individuals according to the laws that apply in your jurisdiction. This may not follow your wishes and can increase the cost of administering your estate. To ensure that your wishes regarding your property are honoured upon your death you should speak with a lawyer and have a Will. Also, if you die without a will and have young children, part of your estate could go to your children and be held in trust until they turn 18. If you are married, this can cause problems for your spouse. Having a Will protects your spouse and children and ensures that your wishes are honoured.

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