The recent coronavirus outbreak around the world, which has now hit British Columbia more seriously than many of us probably imagined, has caused many of us to think more about our own or our elderly family members’ vulnerability and mortality.
Toilet paper and hand sanitizer stocks aside, do you have an up-to-date effective will? If you have to be hospitalized, do you have someone you trust who is authorized to take care of your affairs while you are out of commission? If not, and while you are still mobile, this is the time to do it.
With a power of attorney (POA), you appoint someone trustworthy, usually a family member, to act as your “attorney” to manage your financial and legal affairs when you cannot. An enduring power of attorney (EPOA) will allow them to do this even if you no longer have the mental capacity to do so.
How will your bills, your mortgage, your strata fees, loan payments be paid? If your salary is not automatically deposited, how is this going to take place? A POA/EPOA can be a simple document to help you when your life gets complicated.
A power of attorney is no longer effective and cannot be used after a person’s death. This is when the will takes over.
Does your will reflect your current situation and your current wishes?
Oftentimes, people make wills and then put them away and forget about them while their life goes on with all the changes that brings. Is your choice of executor still the right person? What about specific gifts? Do you still own them?
Beneficiaries, other than a spouse and children, may change over the years. Do you still intend to leave 25% of your estate to your favourite charity or do you now have more children or grandchildren so that you want to modify the distribution percentages you originally thought about?
Both a will and a power of attorney can be drafted fairly quickly if you have thought about and know what you want to do. New procedures have been established to deal with the physical distancing requirements when it comes to signatures.
Call or email us if you would like more information about getting your affairs or those of your loved ones, in order.