Wills & Estates
Wills: When you die a will is necessary to ensure your property goes to whom you wish – including your land, money, investments, business, personal belongings, etc. Without a will a piece of legislation dictates who gets your property. In addition, absence of a will allows anyone to apply to become the Administrator of your Estate (the person in charge of distributing your property as per the law). In other words, by ensuring you have a legal will, you choose your own Executor and make sure your property is distributed according to your wishes.
There are many things to consider when doing your will including:
- choosing an Executor;
- naming the Guardian of your child or children;
- deciding what gifts you would like to make; and
- determining the details of a trust fund for your children.
In fact, we have developed a checklist that includes important matters to consider and key decisions to be made when creating your will. Click here for your copy.
Barb’s Tip for Best Practices
This checklist is an excellent document to keep up-to-date and stored with your will. It will help your Executor know exactly where to go and what to ask to make sure all your assets and debts are identified. Being organized is extremely important for your Executor and will result in maximum funds being left in the hands of those you love.
Personal Directives & Enduring Powers of Attorney: Personal Directives and Enduring Powers of Attorney are just as important as having a will – we can’t emphasize this more! These documents are absolutely necessary if you are still alive but, for example, are in a coma in the hospital. The person that you name in these documents will not only take care of the financial management of your affairs while you’re in hospital but will also make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
Watch the video below to hear Barb explain the difference between a Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Probate: Death is a very difficult time for families and we recognize that it takes great compassion and care to assist anyone during this critical time. The process of probate is to ensure that your deceased loved one’s will is proven to be their Last Will and Testament. Although most clients prefer to avoid probate and the fees and possible complication, this process is in place to protect you and ensure that your true testamentary wishes are carried out in the best possible way. This protects you as well as the Executor(s) who take on this responsibility given they are personally liable to ensure that they complete their job accordingly.
Watch the video below to learn more from Barb about probate.
Estate Administration: In situations where a loved one passes before putting a will in place, administration of their estate is necessary. Fall River Law can teach you about the steps to be taken and guide you through this process. We also support executors through the often complex process of administering a loved one’s estate, which can keep legal fees down by putting more responsibility in the hands of the deceased person’s family, friends, and charities.