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Estate Planning: Drawing Up an Effective Power of Attorney and Will

Posted on Thursday October 25, 2018

Estate Planning: Drawing Up an Effective Power of Attorney and Will

Are you in good health, approaching retirement and eager to take advantage of the coming years to travel and perhaps spoil your loved ones a little? This is the time to draw up or update your estate plan while life is going well and you have a clear mind about your wishes. This essential step will make it easier for your loved ones to manage your affairs trouble-free when the time comes. Here's what you need to know to effectively prepare a power of attorney and will. This is a follow-up to the post titled Estate Planning, One Step at a Time.


Where there's a will there's a way? for you to decide what happens when you're gone

In New Brunswick, a deceased person's will carries great legal weight. This makes it important for you to draw up a will while you are of sound mind and body. The purpose of a will is to:

  • distribute your property as you wish
  • designate a guardian for your minor (under 19 years of age) children
  • designate an executor
  • help your heirs avoid delays and legal costs.

A will is an important legal document, and you are better off retaining the services of a trusted lawyer or notary to guide and advise you concerning this process.

Note: A will is almost always read after the funeral. If you have end-of-life wishes-such as with regard to organ donation, medically assisted death or your funeral-it's consequently advisable to make them known in a letter instead and then share its location with your loved ones and/or executor.

Funeral arrangements provide you an opportunity to have a hand in planning what happens in the days following your death, saving your family from needless worry or even conflict during this difficult time.

For complete details about drawing up a will in this province, visit the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick website.


Power of attorney: Empowering someone to act on your behalf

According to the Public Legal Education and Information Service of New Brunswick, ?A power of attorney is a written document. In it you give someone, or perhaps different people, the authority to act for you in relation to your property, financial affairs and/or personal care.?

The power of attorney is a document drawn up separately from your will and is just as important. Should you become unable to look after your own affairs, a power of attorney authorizes a loved one to gain access to your personal or business accounts. You can also, for example, empower your life partner to sell your home or vehicle. This document allows the designated person to act on your behalf when the time comes, hence the importance of having a duly completed power of attorney.

Unfortunately, many seniors spend their final days in a highly vulnerable state. As a result, they can find themselves isolated and victimized by ill-intentioned individuals seeking to profit from their weakness. Consult the Government of New Brunswick publication Protect Yourself from Abuse and Fraud: A Guide for Seniors. The power of attorney is a valuable tool for preventing this type of abuse.

Having a trusted person in place to manage your affairs during your final days will go a long way toward easing the impact of your passing on your loved ones. Please visit the Planning Ahead section of the website for complete information on powers of attorney in New Brunswick.

Making the necessary arrangements concerning your will and power of attorney positions your loved ones to manage your affairs later so that you can enjoy your retirement now.


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