Illness and incapacity take many families by surprise. A loved one may be rational and coherent one month, but his or her health declines rapidly the next, rendering the loved one unable to make important decisions related to finances and health care.
Canadians are living longer than ever before, and with longer lifetimes come increasing concerns about the possibility of dementia and mental incapacity. An essential way to plan for the possibility of one's own incapacity is to draft these two documents: power of attorney for personal care and power of attorney for property.
In light of our recent post on a legal dispute involving an Ontario man who was sentenced to jail for stealing from his father, now is a fitting time to discuss estate planning as it relates to powers of attorney and other forms of incapacity planning.
It is increasingly common for adult children to become caregivers for their elderly parents. But what if it becomes known that the adult child caregiver is actually taking advantage of the parent by misappropriating estate assets?
A timely article from CBC News relates directly to our recent post on how estate property is distributed in the absence of a will. Specifically, we discussed the Estates Act and the Succession Law Reform Act, and how those legislative acts determine the distribution of estate assets in Ontario when someone dies without a last will and testament.
According to a study by the Public Health Agency of Canada, 35 per cent of Canadians with a neurological condition such as Alzheimer's disease reported having experienced a financial crisis in the past 12 months.
Anticipating the possibility of incapacity is an important part of any comprehensive estate plan. Unfortunately, though, instead of addressing issues of capacity and consent by assigning powers of attorney, many Canadians postpone this kind of planning until it's too late.
In 2014 life expectancy in Canada was the sixth highest in the world. According to the World Health Organization, men could expect to live to age 80 and women could expect to live to age 83. By comparison, in 1920 the expected ages were 59 and 61 respectively. Much has changed, in other words.
The possibility of not being able to make your own decisions may not be a subject you often consider, but anticipating incapacity is an essential part of estate planning. Canadians can most easily address incapacity issues with two important documents: power of attorney for personal care and power of attorney for property.
You're not alone if the prospect of talking with your heirs about estate planning makes you uncomfortable. In fact, earlier this year a poll by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce showed that nearly 50 per cent of Canadians have not broached the topic of inheritance with their heirs, yet more than half of Canadians expect to leave assets to heirs upon death.