Estate Planning

Estate planning involves drawing up 3 important legal documents:

Will Planning
The Wills Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) came into force on March 31, 2014. With the goal of modernizing the law and reducing the number of Acts that deal with estate law to one, WESA replaces the following Acts: Estate Administration Act, RSBC 1996, c. 122.

Will planning is the best-known component of the estate plan. Getting these affairs in order is a very personal way of showing your loved ones you care about them and their well-being. It will also make a difficult time a little easier for them, knowing exactly what your intentions are.

A will enacted upon death, provides instructions for the distribution of your estate as well as appointing an executor to act on your behalf. A current and complete Will outlines your intentions and can speak for you in your absence. It’s never too early to set one up – anyone over 18 years of age and “of sound mind” can draw up a legally binding Will. It doesn’t cost much to have one prepared by a lawyer or a notary and it can save a lot of headaches later on. Just like your financial plan, it’s a good idea to review your Will regularly to make sure it continues to meet your needs.

Power of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney gives someone the authority to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so. Your attorney would carry out your business and legal affairs if you’re:

  • Terminally ill
  • Permanently unconscious
  • Otherwise unfit, such as becoming mentally incompetent

Upon death, however, a power of attorney automatically ends. From then on, your affairs would be managed per the provisions of your Will.

Representation Agreement
A Representation Agreement is a document used either for supported or substituted decision making – regarding health care and personal care matters. BC’s Representation Agreement Act is considered pioneer legislation, being one of the first self- contained supported decision-making legal regimes in the world.

For more information about Wills, refer to the Seniors Canada site or contact your lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, we can recommend one in your area (click here for a referral to a lawyer)

Contact us today to get started or review your estate plan.

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