Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney
Wills, trusts and powers of attorney are three basic tools of estate planning. At Elliott & Hills, we will review your family and financial circumstances, identify your estate planning goals and develop an estate plan tailored to meet your needs.
A will is a legal document that allows you to express your wishes regarding how you would like your assets to be distributed after your death. It deals with your assets (including land, money, investments, and personal items), the names of those you wish to inherit the assets, and the name of the executor(s) or estate trustee(s) — those whom you wish to administer the estate after your death.
Probate is the process of obtaining the court's approval of a will.
Parents of minor children may wish to name a guardian or guardians who you wish to care for the children should you and their other parent die. Parents of a child with a disability may wish to consider the use of a testamentary trust to provide for the child into adulthood once both parents have died.
As part of our business succession planning services, we may advise the use of multiple wills, one for personal assets and one for shares of a privately held business.
Our lawyers will take your instructions, advise you of your options, draft the will and execute it properly, taking all necessary steps to ensure that is will be recognized by the court in the probate process.
A trust can be a powerful tool for preserving assets and minimizing the income tax. In a trust, the assets are owned by the trust, not the individual. Trusts can be a useful tool to manage and invest money for a disabled adult child, hold assets until a minor child comes of age, and hold and preserve assets, such as a home or family cottage.
There are two basic types of trusts. Inter vivos trusts are created during one's lifetime. Testamentary trusts are created in a will and established after one's death. Not everyone needs a trust. Our lawyers will only create a trust if it makes sense in your specific situation.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person you designate the right to speak and act on your behalf in specific situations when you cannot do so yourself.
- A continuing power of attorney for property gives the person you name the authority to manage your finances in the case of your physical or mental incapacity.
- A power of attorney for personal care, also called advance care planning or a living will, appoints a substitute decision-maker, to carry out your wishes regarding your end-of-life care or during periods of incapacity.
To arrange a consultation about a will, trust, power of attorney or any other estate planning need, please contact Elliott & Hills by e-mail or call 1 905-571-1774. From our offices in Oshawa we represent clients throughout the Durham Region of Ontario.