Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning
While it may be unpleasant to think about your death when planning your estate, it must be done to ensure your belongings are divided as per your desires after you die. However, when it comes to preparing a Will, you may have a ton of questions but often find answers difficult to come by. To arm you with the most accurate information about Wills and related documents and processes, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about estate planning.
1. What are the pitfalls if I do not have a valid Will?
A Will is a legal document that states your wishes regarding the care of your children and the division of your assets upon your death. If you do not have a Will after you pass away, the state distributes your assets based on a set formula, and your child may be put in foster care depending on the circumstances. You may also leave your loved ones in despair as your assets may not be divided as you promised, or they may lose a great deal of their inheritance as taxes to the government.
2. What are the differences between a Will and Power of Attorney?
A Will is a legal document stating the wishes you want to be executed after your death. It comes into effect only after you pass away. A Power of Attorney comes into effect while you are alive. A Power of Attorney can be of two kinds, Powers of Attorney for Personal Care and Powers of Attorney for Property. In both cases, you appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf.
3. What is Probate?
Probate is a court process where an individual applies to become an Executor and obtains a Certificate of Appointment. This certification allows them to execute the instructions mentioned in your Will.
4. What is the role of an Estate Trustee?
A Trustee is the temporary legal owner of trust assets. They are responsible for handling all of the assets held in trust, tax filings for the trust, and distributing the assets according to the terms of the trust.
5. Who should I name in my Will?
You can name anyone as a beneficiary in your Will. For example, your spouse, children, other loved ones, or friends. But, you cannot name a deceased person. Similarly, if a beneficiary dies, they cannot receive the property you leave them. You also cannot name someone who is serving as a witness while signing your Will.
If you have any more questions about estate planning, get in touch with the experts at Fordham & Brightling Associates - Lawyers in St. Thomas, Ontario. We have been providing sound and effective legal advice to individuals and businesses in the St. Thomas and London area since 1980. We pride ourselves on combining a small town and approachable atmosphere with professional and efficient service. At the same time, we enjoy helping our clients plan their estate. Besides this, we offer several other legal services to our clients. To learn more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us by clicking here.