Every adult should have three testamentary or quasi-testamentary documents in his or her inventory so that life cannot sneak up on you unannounced. You should have a Will, a Power of Attorney and a Representation Agreement.
A Will names someone who will be responsible for acting in the event of your death. He is called your executor. A Will names someone as guardian of your infant children in the event of your death. And it divides your assets among the people you want them to be divided among. A Will can do a number of other things as well but at the least it will do these three. You should have one.
A Power of Attorney appoints someone to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. A continuing Power of Attorney does the same and is designed to take effect if you become incompetent. As becoming incompetent to make decisions is quite often a permanent problem you need to do the Power of Attorney now, not later.
A Representation Agreement appoints someone to make health decision on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. The comments about incompetency in relation to a Power of Attorney are equally applicable to a Representation Agreement.
We draft Wills, Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements. We would be pleased to draft one for you. Firm quotes are available on request.
We also provide Probate services for the estates of deceased persons. In simple terms, if when you die you own anything of value that is in your name only and needs to be registered somewhere (a house, a car, a share certificate and almost everything else) your estate will need to be probated. Letters Probate if you left a Will, Letters of Administration if you did not. These are the terms used by Courts.
Probate (or Administration) is no more than a Court stamp of validity on your Will or a Court order that the general rules of administration of estates applies to your death. It is a formal procedure that people often find tedious and complicated. And it comes at an emotional time. We offer flat rate probate services for residents of British Columbia (or non-residents who have assets here). Firm quotes are available on request.