What Your Will Doesn’t Cover


BLOG 2014-08 What Your Will (header)

By David Chalmers, CFP, BA, FLMI, CLU, CFP, CHFC, CIM

The end of life is not a topic many of us care to discuss.

The unfortunate truth is that there may come a point in our lives and the lives of our loved ones, where old age or illness takes away our physical or legal capacity to make decisions.

This kind of care is not something one’s Will or Estate Plan can account for. It’s why we arrange Powers of Attorney and, now, Representation Agreements: to ensure that our wishes are safely with those we trust and see them acted upon accordingly.

The next section explores the various tools and strategies we have at our disposal to confirm that one’s estate and end of life wishes are secure.

WILLS, POWERS OF ATTORNEY, AND REPRESENTATION AGREEMENTS


WILLS
Everybody knows that one should have a Will. Without a Will, one’s estate is arbitrarily allocated based on a set of rules set by the government.

It is critical that one’s Will should be periodically reviewed and updated. Your financial circumstances change, as do those of your intended heirs. And the health or capacity of your intended executor/executrix or trustees may have changed.

In addition, there have been changes in both provincial legislation and federal tax legislation that will affect your Will.

Changes include provisions surrounding marriage, divorce, same sex relationships, and the taxation of testamentary trusts.

POWERS OF ATTORNEY
It is important to have an “Enduring Power of Attorney” and to have appropriate arrangements and contingent arrangements.

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that is often misunderstood. It deals only with financial matters… not healthcare issues.  One should understand the limits of a Power of Attorney and the issues of capacity required to amend your POA arrangements.

REPRESENTATION AGREEMENTS
This is a document where you can appoint someone to assist you in matters relating to health care and personal care matters—to act as your representative and ensure your wishes are honoured. A Representation Agreement has legal effect, whereas some the arrangements such as Living Wills are only statements of intention.

THE NIDUS SEMINARS

EMAIL 2014-08-18 Nidus DNC
SEPTEMBER 15, 2014
On September 15 (more details below) I will be joining a panel of distinguished guests at a seminar presented by Nidus, a not-for-profit educational resource centre that focuses on personal planning.

It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn about the topics we’ve touched on above.

There are four seminars scheduled and all are presented by Nidus. This is not a series of seminars – each will deal with the same material – and there is no charge to attend any of the events.

EVENT DETAILS
Nidus presents: “Are you Prepared?”
Monday September 15, 2014  |  7:00pm to 8:30pm
Vancouver Central Branch Library, Alice Mackay Room
Admission: FREE

RSVP to Karen Falkenberg at [email protected]

For information on the dates and times of all the Nidus seminars, click here.

NIDUS
Nidus (Latin for nest) is a non-profit organization that acts as an information and resource facility for British Columbians who want to know more about the issues to be discussed at these seminars. The organization has a very helpful website (www.nidus.ca) and provides for helpful consultation for a modest fee.

There is no formal relationship between Nicola Wealth and Nidus. We just admire the work that they do.

THE “E-REGISTRY”
Think of this as an electronic medic alert bracelet. You are in a car crash and taken (unconscious to hospital). How does the doctor know who has authority over your medical issues? At these seminars you can find out about the E-Registry which addresses this vital issue.

SUMMARY

We at Nicola Wealth are experts at estate planning. We help you organize your affairs so as to maximize benefits for all parties (and minimize taxes and probate fees).

However, one still needs to have the appropriate documents and advocacy arrangements in place.  These seminars will be a wonderful opportunity to find out more.