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March 2017 Archives

Power of attorney is an estate planning tool that can be misused

There are many tools available to those seeking to have their affairs in order in advance of their demise. Granting power of attorney over one's finances is an excellent choice for many older people to consider while attending to their estate planning. It is, however, a power subject to abuse, and careful consideration is prudent before granting it to someone. A person in northern Ontario is no doubt regretting their choice after his or her accounts were used for the personal benefit of another.

Estate planning update: Change may be coming to power of attorney

Periodically, the laws of the land come under review to ascertain whether they still meet the needs of the population. This includes many areas, including criminal law, family law and estate law. The Law Commission of Ontario has recently issued a report detailing recommended changes to systems in place for substitute decision-making that could have an impact on estate planning.

Suggestions about what to do with RRSPs during estate planning

Many people are surprised by the complexity of their estates when they get older. Assets accumulate over time, and we don't really think about many of them that much. Every asset is important, however, when it comes time to do some estate planning. A valuable asset that many men and women in Ontario need to think about is their RRSP. How one chooses to distribute it after his or her death could have major implications for that person's heirs.

Family shut out of wills may seek variances

It takes a lot of careful planning to see to the allocation of even a modest estate in Ontario. Wills are the primary tools of estate planning, and they make plain the testators final wishes. However, should the family of the deceased find they were left out of the plans, they may choose to take the issue to court. A large estate is now under attack from several disgruntled descendants claiming an unjust denial of their inheritance.

Updating wills may not always be enough; new ones may be required

The passage of time almost always brings changes to people's lives. As a result, the plans made in the past may no longer reflect the present reality. In turn, this means future needs may not be met. When it comes to wills, it is important to keep them updated to ensure they are properly executed.