Wills and Powers of Attorney
Preparation of your will and powers of attorney is very affordable and it is something that should not be put off. We offer special pricing in respect of these services for clients who are using our services in respect of real estate transactions.
It is very important that everyone consider the need for a Will. Your Will allows you to direct the orderly distribution of your assets and payment of your debts after your death. If you do not have a will the law decides how your estate will be distributed and who will inherit your property.
A well drafted Will may be particularly important in any number of circumstances but there are often very common situations where we find that people are not aware that special steps must be taken: if you are living in a common-law relationship (a common-law spouse is not considered to be a "spouse" under the law for the purposes of dividing your property); if you are in a second marriage/relationship and there are children from a prior relationship; if you have young children and you want to set out your wishes for guardianship; you may have dependants with special needs for continuing care; you may feel that it is in your children's interest that they do not inherit your estate until they reach a particular age; you may want to make sure that a particular person or persons are appointed as your executor/trustee , or, you want to be sure that a particular person is not appointed as your executor/trustee.
Powers of Attorney
There are basically two types of Powers of Attorney:
1. Continuing Power Of Attorney for Property:
By appointing an attorney to manage your business, finances and property you retain control, to the extent possible, over these matters even if you become physically or mentally incapable of managing your own affairs. A power of attorney can be of general application, it may be limited to a single or particular transaction, or limited to the management of a particular bank account or item of property. You can specify whether the power of attorney becomes effective immediately or at a later date under particular circumstances. You can appoint more than one person to act "jointly" as your attorney. You can appoint a substitute attorney if the first named attorney is unable or unwilling to act as your attorney.
2. Power Of Attorney for Personal Care
By appointing an attorney to make decisions about your personal care (in circumstances where you become incapacitated or mentally incapable of making those decisions for yourself) you are exercising continuing control, to the extent possible, over such decisions. Decisions about such things as healthcare, nutrition, housing, hygiene, safety and consent to medical treatment should be made by someone you trust and who knows and/or shares your outlook and opinions in respect of these matters. You can give specific instructions in your power of attorney which your attorney must carry out.
VERY IMPORTANT:There are restrictions as to who can act as witnesses to the grant of a power of attorney, and there are legal requirements relating to the proper execution of a power of attorney.