Prior to creating your Will, Power of Attorney and Personal Directive you will need to begin gathering information and making important decisions. The information below will guide you through the planing process.
In addition to your personal information, your lawyer will need to be made aware of the following:
Any plans to move in the foreseeable future.
If you reside part of the year outside of Canada.
If married, do you have a marriage contract, or prenuptial agreement?
If divorced or separated, was there an agreement or divorce order? Are there financial obligations under this agreement?
If you have other personal information you wish to discuss in more detail with your lawyer (i.e. health status, a disabled child, a child’s addiction, etc.) please ensure you write it down.
Do you currently have a will? When was it signed? Where is it located?
DECISIONS TO MAKE
Executor(s) - person named by the maker of a will to carry out the instructions of the will.
Will your spouse be an executor?
Who are your proposed executor(s)/alternate executor(s)?
Proposed Guardian for Children
DIVISION OF ESTATE AMONG YOUR FAMILY OR OTHER BENEFICIARIES
How do you want to divide your estate? Consider the following possibilities:
Only your spouse surveys you;
Only your child(ren) survive; and
No immediate family survive.
How would you dispose of personal effects & real estate? Possibilities could include:
All to one person
All divided equally
Executors sole discretion
As children agree
Leave in trust
How will remaining property be distributed? If the surviving spouse dies, or if there is no spouse:
Will it all go to children or other beneficiaries?
If children or beneficiaries are under 18 years, then think about how capital should be distributed (different ages and in different percentages or amounts).
If a child or beneficiary dies before receiving all capital, then does the remaining capital go to their children or to surviving siblings or other beneficiaries?
If you have no spouse or children, or if they all die before you or with you, please consider whom you wish to become the beneficiaries of your estate (individuals and/or charities). Would you want:
A legacy (ie cash/gifts) paid to individuals or charities
A special trust (ie. educational fund for the grandchildren) set up?
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney grants an individual the power to make decisions on the management of your property if you are incapacitated and unable to make these decisions for yourself.
Would you prefer to grant Power of Attorney to:
Someone else and your spouse as co-attorneys
A Personal Directive gives authority to another person while the maker is alive but cannot make their own decisions relating to their personal care, health care including decisions regarding the termination of life support and living accommodations.
Would you prefer your Personal Directive to be administered by:
Someone else and your spouse.
MATTERS NOT ADDRESSED
Writing a Will is for legal tasks such as naming your executor, beneficiaries for property, and guardians for children. Following the preparation of your Will, you will be instructed to prepare a memorandum as some matters are not address within the text of your Will. Your memorandum will address the following:
Names and contact information of your professional advisors such as:
Personal Financial Advisor
ORGAN DONATIONS AND DISPOSAL OF REMAINS
Think about your wishes regarding organ donations, burial or cremation, disposal of remains (cemetery plot, etc.) and any specific type of funeral memorial or service you desire. Take time to write down any decisions to help guide your loved ones.
INSURANCE, INVESTMENTS & SAVINGS
Record details of the plan(s) including where they are held, the beneficiaries and the plan’s approximate value.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan(s) (RRSP)
Registered Education Savings Plan(s) (RESP)
Tax-Free Savings Account(s) (TFSA)
Life Insurance Plan(s) - Group and Individual
OTHER ASSETS AND INVESTMENTS
Provide a description and financial details of your assets and investments (e.g. investment assets, bonds, secured creditor interests in mortgages, interests in trust or estate).
Debt and Taxes
Make a list of your lines of credit, car loans and other significant debts (other than the personal debt listed above) as well as the corresponding creditor for each debt.
I look forward to working with you and welcome any questions you may have.
Sean V. Green