A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets and/or the appointment of guardians for your children upon your death. If you die without a will, your wishes may not be followed and your loved ones may be forced to spend additional time and money to settle your affairs.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby an individual grants another person (or persons) the legal authority to act on their behalf in legal, financial or health related affairs if/when they are no longer capable of managing their affairs on their own. A power of attorney is different from a will in that it ensures that an individual’s wishes are met while they are still alive.
A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which an individual, known as a trustor, gives another person (or persons), the trustee, the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party, the beneficiary. We provide Henson Trusts (for disabled minors) and Guardianships (property of minors).
A Guardianship Application becomes necessary when an individual is no longer mentally capable of making certain decisions on their own, requiring a legally authorized substitute decision maker to make choices on their behalf. This can include decisions over both property and personal care.
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Don’t be Caught Off Guard
Life can often be difficult and things don’t always go how we expect them to. It is important to plan ahead so that if anything happens to you or a loved one, all of your/their affairs are in order.
We understand that establishing wills, powers of attorney, and trusts can be emotional, and that’s why you need a team of lawyers who are caring, compassionate, and professional.
This is the best experience I have ever had with a Law Firm. I used Amin Law for the sale of my home. I would not hesitate to use them again and cannot think of one thing I would change about my experience with them.
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To keep your loved ones from fighting with each other. You need a will so you can decide who will administer your estate, who will benefit from your estate, and the age at which minor children will receive what you intend to give them. If you die without a will, the court or statute, decide these things for you – perhaps, without asking the one person that is best suited to carry out your wishes, and without allowing for flexibility in dealing with any particular needs. You also need a will to minimize taxes payable at the time of your death, as well as following your death. Don’t leave your family reeling after the wrong person is chosen to manage your affairs, let the Team at Amin Law guide you.
You need a POA for Property so you can control your finances, even if you are no longer mentally or physically able to make financial decisions. The key is to appoint someone you know and trust completely, who will carry out your instructions, and will act only in your best interests. It is best to choose someone who is skilled in financial matters themselves. You can choose to sign a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property, which takes effect immediately on signing, or a “standard” Power of Attorney for Property, which only takes effect when you become incapable.
A POA for Personal Care allows you to instruct someone you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are no longer mentally capable to make them yourself. Healthcare decisions include: consenting to medical treatment, nutrition, clothing, housing, hygiene, and safety. A Power of Attorney for Personal Care tells caregivers, and the person you have appointed, the categories of personal care that your attorney is allowed to make decisions about in the event of your incapacity.
No. Estate Planning is incredibly complicated, touching many contingencies throughout time that are specific to each individual’s family, health, and property situation. Moreover, Wills and POAs are very carefully worded to effect or avoid significant legal consequences which may not be understood by the general public which may result in the document being invalidated by the Courts, or have unwanted effects in your situation. The team at Amin Law will take the time to listen carefully to your particular situation, and to strategize with you about the best course of action. Also, our data bank is filled with time-tested provisions that will achieve only the result you intend. The risk of a D-I-Y option going wrong, is too high! Don’t tarnish your memory by leaving behind only chaos and strife for your loved ones.
Probably not. As your life circumstances change, your will must be amended or re-written to reflect those changes. Major life events, for example: a marriage, separation or divorce, will have serious implications for your will and estate plan. Also, a death of an executor, or the birth (or adoption) of a (or another) child will require an update. Finally, a significant change in assets whether that be an increase or a decrease in value will necessitate another look to see whether those changes affect any of your estate planning decisions.
Absolute Confidentiality and care to fully document and actualize YOUR intentions above anyone else’s. You can expect that our Team is going to be diligent to ensure that we are hearing about what YOU want, and not what the loudest or most controlling member of your family wants. It is vital that you are the one person that we are hearing from, and that you are not being influenced by any other person. This will require private meetings in which we ask loved ones to wait outside.
You can also expect that we will be assessing your capacity to draft these documents. We want to be sure that you understand what you are doing when you draft a will or a POA, and that you know the intricate powers, responsibilities, and benefits you are giving or withholding to each person you choose. Most importantly, we need to ensure that we can protect the document against a legal battle with survivors not happy with the arrangements you put in place, by documenting evidence of your capacity, and recording the “why” to each decision you make.
While in some cases, this may add to the time and complexity of the drafting process, you can expect that we will try our utmost to ensure the result is less fighting and more moving on.
Finally, you can expect us to protect the beneficiaries by ensuring that no beneficiary or spouse of a beneficiary signs as a witness. In Ontario, this would void their gift.
An attorney is appointed by an individual who is mentally capable, while a private guardian is appointed by the court or the Office of Public Guardian and Trustee (OPGT).
If a guardian is appointed by the court or by the OPGT, the guardian might not be who the mentally incapable person would choose. For most people, having a power of attorney for property or personal care means that you will not need to have a guardian appointed for you.
A guardian of property; a person or trust corporation that makes final decisions on behalf of a mentally incapable adult. Appointed either by the OPGT or the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
A guardian of a person; someone appointed by the court to make personal care decisions on behalf of a mentally incapable adult. This usually happens when the person doesn’t have a power of attorney for personal care or if their attorney is not able or willing to fulfill their duties.