What You Should Know About Wills and Powers of Attorney

Will Lawyer

It’s never too early to start thinking about planning for your future, and a crucial part of that planning involves creating a will or power of attorney (PoA). These legal documents are essential for ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your health and financial affairs are taken care of if you’re unable to make decisions for yourself.

In this blog, we will explain what wills and powers of attorney are, what you can do with them, and why you should work with wills and estate lawyers near you to prepare them.

What Is a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. Having a will is essential because, without one, your assets will be distributed according to the Succession Law Reform Act. If that happens, your assets may be distributed in a way that does not align with your wishes.

Who Executes a Will?

You can name an executor in your will (commonly a trusted St. Catharines law firm) responsible for carrying out your wishes and distributing your assets. You can also name guardians for any minor children you have.

Preparing a Will Valid Under Ontario Law

To be valid, your will must meet specific requirements under Ontario’s laws, which is why most people approach a will lawyer to prepare theirs. It must be in writing, signed by you (or someone in your presence and on your behalf), and witnessed by two people who are not beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries named in the will. People also update their wills after significant life changes, such as after marriage, the birth of a child, and divorce.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A PoA is a legal document that gives someone else the authority to decide on your behalf. Ontario has two types of PoAs: personal care and property.

Power of attorney for personal careIt gives someone else the authority to make decisions about your health care, medical treatment, and personal needs. This includes decisions about where you live, what medical treatment you receive, and who can visit you.

Power of attorney for property- It gives someone else the authority to manage your financial affairs, including paying bills, managing investments, and selling property.

To be valid, a PoA must be in writing, signed by you, and witnessed by two people who are not the attorney or related to the attorney by blood or marriage.

Do You Need a St. Catharines Law Firm for a Valid Will or PoA?

It is not necessary to hire a lawyer to prepare a valid will or power of attorney in Ontario, but it is highly advisable you consult with a will lawyer.

Wills and PoAs are powerful, binding legal documents that can impact your interests. You must discuss matters thoroughly with experienced wills and estates lawyers near you to ensure you don’t prejudice your interests or leave for misunderstandings further down the line.

Distribute Assets and Manage Your Life the Way You Want With the Leading Wills and Estate Lawyers Near You

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your goals. We take the time to understand your priorities and build your confidence in your next steps. In over 60 years of representing clients in St. Catharines and the Niagara region, we have helped clients prepare watertight wills and clearly defined powers of attorney and manage their affairs confidently.

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