Your estate is the total of all of your interests and/or holdings in land and other types of property such as investments, retirement savings, business interests, etc. that you have at any given time – in other words, your ‘assets’.
A will is a document that sets out your wishes for the distribution of your property upon death. There are certain rules and requirements for a will to be valid. If you do not make a will, or if your will does not meet the legal requirements, provincial laws will determine how your property is distributed.
- Guardianship of dependents
- Appointment of an Executor
- Funeral Arrangements
- The distribution of property and assets
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney allows you, during your lifetime, to give another person the authority to act on your behalf in certain situations. In Estate Planning, this document is used to plan for incapacity resulting from accident or failing health. When you give another person a Power of Attorney, it can be unlimited or limited. Essentially, you decide how much “power” you feel comfortable giving to another.
Continuing Power of Attorney for Property: This type of Power of Attorney deals with property such as bank accounts and investments.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care: This type of Power of Attorney applies to matters of health and personal welfare and can include health care directives commonly known as a ‘living will.’
A legal relationship where one person (the “trustee”) holds legal title to property for the benefit of another (the “beneficiary”) on certain terms. You can make provisions in your will to create a trust, or you can create a trust to benefit someone, including yourself, during your lifetime.
A trust is either:
Each trust has different tax rules.
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(to be updated)