WILL & POWER OF ATTORNEY
Long a feature in American real estate transactions, title insurance has only recently gained popularity in Ontario residential real estate transactions. Title insurance is essentially an insurance policy issued by an insurance company to provide compensation in the event that there are defects in title on your home.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document by which you control the disposition of your property at your death.
Planning ahead is critical to avoid problems at a later date. For a valuable summary of the reasons why a person should prepare for the future, please visit the website of the Province of Ontario for more info.
What is a financial power of attorney?
A financial power of attorney is a document that you sign during your lifetime to allow someone to act on your behalf with respect to your financial affairs. It should be given to someone in whom you have confidence, usually a spouse or adult child. It allows the appointed person to act for you if you suddenly become incapacitated.
If the right language is used in the power of attorney, it is effective even if you should be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Have a power of attorney prepared now. Do not wait until you become incapacitated and it is too late.
What is a personal care power of attorney?
This is a separate document to appoint someone to attend to “personal care” decisions, such as medical, shelter, hygiene, nutrition, hospitalization, surgery or other care needs, in the event that you are unable to do so.
How much are the legal fees?Our fees are based on the complexity as well as the time expended on a transaction. After reviewing the offer, you will be provided with an estimate showing a projected range of fees. If the transaction proves to be straightforward, our fees will be at, or close to, the lower figure quoted. We will not exceed the upper limit of our estimate, even when the transaction turns out to be complicated and, as such, requires a greater than usual expenditure of time.
Must my will be witnessed and recorded?The law does not require that a will be witnessed. In Ontario, you can make a holograph will. This is a will in your own handwriting, signed by you and without witnesses. This “do-it-yourself” approach often creates serious problems. Nonetheless, a lawyer usually provides for 2 witnesses to prove the signature of the testator, when the will is offered for probate. A will is not recorded in Ontario during the lifetime of the maker. It is recorded (i.e. probated) only after death. This permits the maker to change or rewrite the will, as circumstances require, and to keep its terms confidential until probate. If you have real estate in another province or country, such as a vacation house, the law of that jurisdiction prevails. Requirements on witnesses may vary elsewhere. In Ontario, a gift to a person who witnesses the will is void.
Does a will increase probate fees?No. Just the opposite is true. It is possible for a well-drawn will to actually reduce expenses.
When should I make a will?You should make a will NOW – before it is too late!
What is a living will?A "living will" is also known as an advance care directive. This is a document used to communicate what you would want to happen if you can no longer communicate your treatment and personal care wishes. We cover this aspect off in your Power of Attorney for Personal Care document.
This information is based on Ontario law and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to inform and not to advise and does not create a solicitor/client relationship. The statements above are general in nature. The individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here. Any amounts referred to are subject to change.