WILLS, POWERS OF ATTORNEY, LIVING WILLS
One of the most important things you can do for your family is to leave them with a properly drafted and executed Will. The lawyers at METRO LAW OFFICE have the expertise to ensure that: your young children are cared for by a guardian of your choice - rather than by someone chosen by a government ministry; simple measures are taken to reduce the taxes payable by your estate; your estate is administered by those you trust to follow your last wishes, to pay your debts and to fairly distribute your personal effects and assets; your will is structured to avoid or minimize painful and expensive estate litigation.
Here are some points to consider about Wills: if you divorce after you make your Will, your spouse's designation as an executor has no effect, however the balance of the Will is valid; income and probate taxes may be minimized by the proper gifting of your RRSP's, RIF's or insurance proceeds or by placing assets in joint tenancy; a Wills Notice filed in Victoria does not contain a copy of your Will - just a note of its date and location - it however serves to revoke previous Wills of an earlier date.
Not all of your assets will form part of your estate and be distributed in accordance with your Will: property, accounts and other assets held in joint names might not form part of a deceased's estate but may pass to surviving joint owners and the benefits of insurance policies, pensions, RRSPs and RIFs may pass to designated beneficiaries without forming part of the deceased estate.
POWERS OF ATTORNEY
As a safeguard in the event that you become mentally incapacitated through age, illness or accident, a Power of Attorney created along with your Will enables your Attorney (usually your spouse, child or next of kin) to pay your bills, maintain or sell an existing home, arrange for your care, purchase special needs accommodation and raise money for necessary surgeries, etc.
In the event that you suffer from an injury, disease or extreme mental deterioration to the extent that you have no reasonable expectation of recovering and regaining a meaningful quality of life, a Living Will serves as your direction to your family, doctors and health professionals not to use surgery, antibiotics, cardiac resuscitation, respiratory support, artificially administered feeding, fluids or draining in order to prolong your life. Your Living Will directs that your treatment be limited in this event to medications designed to keep you free from pain - even if they shorten your life.