Instead of just "making a Will", you need a custom-Made Estate Plan!
Having a customized Will as part of your custom-made estate plan is critical for outlining your wishes, specifically for the distribution of your assets and designating an Executor and a Guardian for your minor children.
Estate & Personal Planning
We have seen too many times how heartbreaking, stressful, and overwhelming it can be when there is no proper Estate Plan in place. Although most people associate Wills with an estate plan, a Will is just one piece of the “puzzle”. You would need a comprehensive estate and personal plan (including a Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement) in order to cover the bases for all future unfortunate events so you can save money, taxes and your family relationships.
Before preparing your custom-made Will, we take our time to understand who you are, your values, your family situation, and your finances. This helps us craft a tailored Estate Plan for you and your family. Again, your Will is only one piece of the Estate Planning “puzzle”.
Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a document that allows a capable Adult to appoint one or several Attorneys to act on their behalf and handle their financial and legal affairs when they are unable to do so. An Enduring Power of Attorney (ePOA) remains valid even after the adult becomes incapable. Without an ePOA, an adult that becomes incapable can only have a Committee appointed by the BC Supreme Court through a lengthy and quite an expensive court procedure.
Representation Agreement (RA) is a tool that allows a capable adult to appoint a representative to make health and personal care decisions for that person. While an Enhanced RAs (s.9) would cover extended health and personal care decisions (including the end-of-life decisions), a Standard RAs (s.7) can be used for routine financial decisions as well as for health care decisions, but have a very limited scope of application.
Advanced Health Directives
An Advance Directive (AD) may include specific written instructions to a health care provider, giving or refusing consent to specific medical treatments or interventions should that person become incapable of giving consent.
While choosing a family member as your Executor may be your first choice, considering an independent/professional Executor (or Alternate Executor, after your family member) can often avoid or resolve conflicts among siblings or relatives. Therefore, choosing an independent professional such as an Accountant, a Notary, a Lawyer, etc. can be a very good idea.
Award-Winning Notary Public Services For Your Entire Family
Do You Have A Plan For Your Future And Your Loved Ones?
An Estate Plan is invaluable for your family future by giving your loved ones peace of mind. A Will outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets, Guardianship for minor children and an Executor designation. If you are an adult who has dependents, owns property, vehicles and/or any other assets, you will likely want to have someone you trust take care of your estate.
In addition to a Will, you should have a Power of Attorney for any financial and legal decisions and a Representation Agreement for any health and personal care matters, in the event that you become unable to make those decisions. We suggest that you update your Will every 3-5 years, especially if you have more children, grandchildren, you lose an exacutor, guardian, or beneficiary, get a divorce, or any other major life changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much will it cost to create my Will and/or estate plan?
Our pricing includes up to one hour of estate planning meeting, where we review the family and financial situation in order to prepare a custom-made estate plan, which can minimize taxes, any future claims and litigation.Also, we provide “package deals” with significant discounts when preparing your Powers of Attorney (for financial decisions) and your Representation Agreements (for medical decisions) at the same time.
Why do I need a Will?
Having a Will done, can save taxes, time, and complications/disputes for your family. Even when you don’t have many assets, by appointing the right people as the Executors of your estate, it may help by avoiding unnecessary headaches for your family dealing with banks and other agencies. Moreover, if you have minor children, you must have a Will, since that would allow you to appoint Guardians for them in case of your death, so their custody is not passed automatically to the Public Guardian and Trustee and then your family members would need to apply to become their guardians. Ultimately, you’re not making a Will, but buying yourself “peace of mind”!
Can I prepare my own Will?
But can you? If you’re indeed a trained paralegal or notary/lawyer, who would know exactly how to prepare it, then sure – no problem. However, if you’re asking that you use an “online kit” or a template from a friend, etc., then I wouldn’t advice anyone to do that to themselves and to their family. The amount of money that you’re saving is not even closet to how much money, taxes, and family complications you’d be having if there is an issue with your “home-made” Will.
What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die without a Will, the BC legislation would govern of what happens with your estate.First, the court will appoint a guardian for any minor children (and if the right person cannot be found, then the Public Guardian and Trustee would become the guardian). Also, the court must appoint an Administrator of the estate or, again, this position may go to the Public Guardian and Trustee. (As you can imagine, both of these situations would imply more time, more money, and more headaches.) Then, the estate is divided according to a specific formula:
- If there is a surviving spouse, but no children/grandchildren, then the estate goes to the spouse;
- If there is a spouse and children (from both of them), then the spouse gets the first $300,000 and 50% of the rest, since the other 50% would be divided among the children. (If at least one of the children is not also the spouse’s child, then only the first $150,000 would go to the spouse plus the 50% of what is left over.
- If there is no spouse, then the estate is divided equally among all their descendants.
- If there is no spouse and no descendants, then the estate goes to your parents (and if they’re not alive, then it goes to your siblings.
How should I prepare for my Will appointment?
Normally, there is not much preparation needed for our first meeting. We would send our Wills Questionnaire in advance, and you would fill out the basic information and skip any information that you don’t have at the moment. Then, during our meeting (in-person or over the videoconference) we would discuss all the details and I may help you answer the questions that you may have had before our meeting. If, in case there are some small items missing (e.g. addresses, names, etc.) then you may send them to us after the meeting, so we can finish drafting your documents and send them to your for approval before you coming back to sign them in about 2-3 weeks.
Two Notary Office Locations (Langley & Aldergrove)
In order to serve you better, beside the main office in Langley (Willoughby area), we also have a 2nd office in Aldergrove, which is open "by appointment only" and can accomodate clients even after working hours.
Langley Notary Office:
(9am to 5pm & after 5pm by appointment only)
Relentless Pursuit Of Providing Excellent Notary Services In Langley area
Lilian Cazacu has been providing high-quality notary public services to the Langley community and continues to dedicate his time to helping and educating Langley residents on various non-contentious legal matters.