Long Term & Estate Planning

Toronto Family Lawyer for Long Term and Estate Planning

realestate1Long Term Estate planning is essential. Primarily, every adult person should make a Will and execute Powers of Attorney for Personal Care and for Property. Trusts, particularly testamentary trusts, are especially useful tax savings tools, and not limited to wealthy individuals. Without a Will in Ontario, property will be distributed according to a formula set out in the Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990. Individuals may not wish to provide for beneficiaries as prescribed by the legislation and require a valid will to ensure that there estate is distributed according to their wishes. Similarly, in 1995 the law in Ontario regarding guardianship underwent major reform. The Substitute Decisions Act, the Consent to Treatment Act and the Advocacy Act were all enacted on April 3, 1995. Persons who have capacity may appoint attorney’s to act for them both while that are competent and after they become incompetent to manage property. A person can also sign a power of attorney for personal care and authorize their attorney or attorney’s to make decisions concerning their personal care of in the event that one becomes incompetent to consent to medical treatment. This Power of Attorney for Personal Care has become colloquially known as a “Living Will”. Of note, a separation agreement does not revoke a bequest to a spouse in a will, a divorce does not revoke a bequest to a spouse in a will and a re-marriage will revoke the entire will.