We have not only obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for accident victims since 2003, but we has also assisted many of his clients with planning their estates after settlements and surrounding issues or wrongful death. Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers now offer affordable estate planning services to new clients – at affordable rates.
We believe that making a will does not have to be complex, nor does it have to be expensive. A simple estate plan, which is necessary for most families or couples with children, does not have to be a financial burden or unaffordable or cost thousands of dollars to put together a simple and proper estate plan to determine what happens to your assets or wealth upon death. A proper estate plan should be affordable and readily accessible for every family with children or assets in the event of unexpected death. For the help you need, call a Hamilton wills and estates lawyer at our firm.
A common concern young parents have is what will happen to their minor children if they, as parents, unexpectedly die. Every family should designate a person they love and trust as guardian or alternate guardian for their minor children. If something happens to you as a single parent or to both parents, you need to ensure that your minor children have the necessities of life, including medical care, food, clothing, and shelter.
The Children’s Law Reform Act sets out the process that must be followed in appointing a guardian for your minor children. We always suggest that you should appoint a guardian you love and trust—and someone who is the proper age, someone who is familiar with the children, and someone who will not uproot them and take them away from their social situation, activities, and school system.
Appointing a guardian in your will is only binding for ninety days. After that, the intended guardians should bring a court application seeking to be permanently appointed. When that happens, your wishes and intentions will be made known to the court. Although anyone making a will should know that your intentions with respect to guardianship won’t necessarily be determinative, your wishes will no doubt give importance to the proceedings.
People often have the misconception that planning their estate needs to be expensive—in reality, that is not the case. Estate planning is a necessity and should be within financial reach of anyone who has children and/or assets.
A simple estate plan and will can be drafted inexpensively in Hamilton for most people who simply need to plan how their assets will be distributed upon their death, communicate their wishes concerning funeral arrangements, and designate guardianship of their minor children.
If you haven’t made an estate plan yet, you aren’t alone. Many Canadians do not want to think about their own mortality and put off putting together an estate plan for various reasons. But remember—if you do not have a will, you will have no say about who takes care of your children if you die, leaving it up to your family to figure it out. You will not name a person you trust to carry out your wishes, and your assets will probably not be distributed as planned. Having an estate plans prevents your loved ones from having to deal with bureaucracy, appoint guardians, or get into disagreements with other family members about the distribution of your assets.
Powers of attorney are also useful tools in estate planning. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf with respect to your property or personal care
decisions. (In this context, an “attorney” does not mean lawyer.)
The powers of attorney identify those you appoint to step into your shoes and handle a wide variety of issues on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. The documents provide mechanisms for you to maintain some element of control over the administration of your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.
There are two types of continuing powers of attorney: powers of attorney for personal care and health and powers of attorney for property. If you become incapable of managing your affairs, a person you have chosen will be able to pay your bills, continue your affairs, and make decisions concerning your health and well-being.
Powers of attorney are normally part of an estate plan, but from time to time, they are required on their own. By having our Hamilton estates and wills lawyers draft your power or attorney, you can decide, while you have the capacity, who will act for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself. We can help you understand the complexities of the different powers of attorney and draft the appropriate power of attorney to fit your needs.
In Ontario, the will of the deceased person could be challenged as invalid under certain circumstances. For heirs and beneficiaries who have standing and feel their interests have been undercut or that they have suffered losses, there are grounds which can be cited as the basis for a challenge, such as the following circumstances:
In addition, certain dependents may effectively challenge a will by applying to a court for maintenance out of an estate on the basis that adequate provisions were not made for them.
A will and estate lawyer in Hamilton can help with challenging the validity of wills, undue influence, dependent support claims, and claims by common-law spouses. We can also assist with passing of accounts, guardianship applications, capacity disputes, and trustee disputes.
Later life wills are a common client need. Often, older clients want to write a new will. While there is no exact information as to the average age of estate planning clients or the age at
which individuals write wills, anecdotal evidence indicates that some very old clients, often surviving spouses, revisit wills made in their younger years.
Wills written by those past age 80 or 85 normally represent one last bite at the apple of estate distribution. The client does not expect to ever write another will and often, takes great pains to get this one right. We understand that in some cases, people making a will later in life might feel pressed for time or their mental incapacity of the client is becoming a very real possibility. Eyesight, poor memory and communication may also makes it a challenge to communicate but we are preapared to work with you no matter how long it takes.
Remember – even older clients who do not have large estates may require a that reflects the reality of family dynamics including divorce, remarriage, second families, late-life children, adoptions, and alternate lifestyles.
Matt Lalande was voted by his peers as one of 2018’s Best Lawyers in Canada. Matt has chaired, written, and spoken on countless occasions for leading newspapers, magazines, legal publications, and law conferences, as well as for the Ontario Orthopedic Surgeon annual conference and general meeting. He has also presented at several orthopedic surgeon educational dinners.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers help families from Toronto to Niagara. If you require affordable estate planning services done right, please contact our law firm by filling out the online contact form below or calling us today.If you are a beneficiary who is concerned about the validity of a will or you wish to challenge its provisions or the capacity of the testator, we would be happy to explain your rights and options to you. Give us a call at 905-333-8888 or 1-844-LALANDE or fill out the form to speak with a Hamilton wills and estates lawyer.