If you die without a will your property will be divided among individuals according to a schedule set by the government. This may not follow your wishes and can increase the cost of administering your estate. To make sure your wishes and desires are followed regarding your property on your death you should have a will. Also, if you die without a will and have young children, part of your estate could go to your children and be held in trust until they reach the age of majority. This can cause problems, if you are married, for your spouse. Having a will assures that your wishes are honoured and you will be protecting your spouse and children.
Power of Attorney
Provincial law allows you to select a person or persons to assist you with respect to medical, personal care decisions and financial decisions. If you become mentally disabled and cannot make either personal care or financial decisions on your own, the attorney you have appointed can make those decisions for you. If you do not have a power of attorney, family members may have to apply to be your guardian, which is a complex and expensive process. In other cases, the public trustee and guardian for the province of Ontario may be appointed to make those decisions for you.
Power of Attorney for personal care
This document will permit a person or persons to make medical or personal care decisions for you should you be unable to do so.
Power of Attorney for property
This document will permit a person or persons to make financial and other decisions for you at any time after you sign the document. This document will be effective should you become unable to make those decisions on your own. The selection of your attorney is very important as you must be able to trust them not to use the power of attorney improperly and to make the right decisions for you in your best interest.