Wills are a critical tool for outlining one's wishes for the distribution of assets, guardianship of minor children, and the designation of an Executor who takes care of administering the estate. Despite this, a November 2010 survey found that only 51% of B.C. adults have a Will in place. Without a Will, the Court will determine who will be the Executor, and the law will decide who is entitled to the estate.
Who should have a Will?
Any adult in B.C. who owns property including real estate, vehicles or other assets; has a dependent spouse or children, and wishes to have someone they know and trust take care of their estate after their death.
A Power of Attorney allows a capable
adult to appoint a person or persons to handle their financial and legal matters in the event they are unable to do so themselves or need assistance. The document also specifies whether these
individuals are allowed to act separately or required to act together. Because of the financial authority conveyed, it is critical that the Adult fully understands what powers they are granting with
this document and have complete trust in the person they are appointing.
It also allows the Adult to compensate their designated attorney for performing actions on their behalf.
A Representation Agreement appoints a representative, or multiple representatives, to make decisions regarding an individual's health and personal care in the event they are unable to communicate their own wishes. Depending on how the Representation Agreement is prepared, a designated representative's authority can include:
• routine finances
• decisions regarding healthcare, personal care, and limited legal affairs
• refusal or consent to life support treatment and care
• consent to less common medical procedures/treatment
• consent to treatment the Adult approved while capable but since losing
capacity has refused to consent
• deciding on living arrangements for the Adult including choosing a care facility
We can help determine appropriate scope for specific representative(s).
* http://www.notaries.bc.ca/resources/showContent.rails?resourceItemId=1962; ** http://www.notaries.bc.ca/resources/showContent.rails?resourceItemId=1964; *** http://www.notaries.bc.ca/resources/showContent.rails?resourceItemId=1963