Do you have a plan in place to protect your loved ones in the event of a sudden passing or medical event?
No one wants to think about the many unfortunate things that could take us away from those we care about most, but planning ahead allows you to protect your family during one of the most difficult times of their lives. Arranging your estate ensures that everyone has a smooth path forward, and makes it easy to guarantee that your final wishes are upheld.
At Paperclip Law, our team knows that creating a will and sorting through your affairs can feel daunting. As dedicated family members ourselves, we’re proud to partner with you to eliminate any confusion or anxiety and to create a plan that cares for your loved ones in their time of need. With comprehensive estate planning services available, you can trust Paperclip to help you, every step of the way. Below, we’ll discuss five core aspects to expect when handling estate affairs.
What Constitutes An “Estate”?
Oftentimes when people begin the process of estate planning they’re unsure of what all is involved. While we’ll go into more detail about the various aspects you need to account before, it’s important to know that estate planning refers to the allocation of your personal property upon your passing. This includes assets such as property, shares in private and public companies, cash, clothing, jewelry, automobiles, land, retirement funds, investment holdings, savings accounts and more. The various documents concerned with estate planning such as wills, trusts, and the like are designed to ensure that every resource is properly allocated as you wish.
With that in mind, five key decisions involved in estate planning are:
1. Who Will Be My Executor?
Your executor is the individual responsible for carrying out your wishes as dictated in your Will. Upon your passing, the executor has the power to make overriding decisions when it comes to funeral arrangements, organizing your assets and what you owe, managing your business, instructing professionals who handle your assets (lawyers, real estate agents, accountants, etc.) and more. This level of responsibility and authority means it is essential to ensure that the person you choose is someone you have full trust in, and who is capable of carrying out any and all directives with ease.
2. Guardianship Issues
Within the Province of British Columbia, Wills are the only legal document where you can choose a guardian for children under 19 that you currently have custody and guardianship of. If you share joint custody and guardianship with your child’s other biological parent, they will automatically become the guardian in the case of your passing, otherwise, the parent with sole custody is able to designate a guardian to ensure their children are cared for.
3. The “Family Disaster Clause”
In the unlikely event your entire immediate family is involved in a fatal or life-altering accident, it is important to ensure your estate has a contingency clause in place. Planning ahead will allow you to clearly outline which extended family members have access to your assets, as well as charities, foundations, and more.
4. Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney, much like being an Executor, is an extremely important role within estate law. An individual with the Power of Attorney has the authority to act on your behalf while you are still alive, but unfit to make significant decisions pertaining to private affairs, business, or other legal matters due to medical, mental or physical challenges.
5. Representative for Health Care
Finally, similar to power of attorney and executorship a representative for healthcare has the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf while you are still alive, but otherwise incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes.
Paperclip Law Is Here to Help
If you or someone you love is in need of assistance when it comes to estate planning, probate law, or other legal services where personal and property matters are concerned, our team is here to help. Since 2011, we’ve helped residents of Vancouver and Squamish handle their legal matters with confidence. We’re here to help you find the answers you need, offering guidance, support, and expertise you can trust along the way. Contact us today to learn more.