Ask the Expert
Our team of highly trained professionals at Farley Martin Notaries Public are here to assist you in completing your full and complete Estate plan.
Most adults understand the concept that a Will is an important document to create when you have assets, debts and, most importantly, minor children. However, many people are unaware that a Will only plays part of the role in a well thought out Estate plan.
In the event of your death, your Will kicks in and your named Executor takes over handling your legal and financial affairs. But what happens if tragedy strikes and you are still alive? Who would take care of your everyday bills, daily financial affairs and potentially even manage all of your assets, including your Real Estate if you were unable to?
Many people are surprised to learn that, without the proper documentation, even your spouse may be required to go to the courts to obtain the right to assist you with your legal and financial affairs if you were unable to do so —a costly and time consuming process. So what can be done to protect your financial affairs in the event of the unimaginable? Ensure you have a complete Estate plan that includes not only a Will, but a Power of Attorney too.
SO WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY?
A Power of Attorney is a valuable document that gives British Columbians the ability to appoint a person or persons to assist them with their legal and financial affairs in the event they request or need the assistance of others. The appointed person, the Attorney, would have the ability to protect your finances by ensuring bills are paid and other financial and legal obligations are met, if you are unable to do so yourself.
When drafting this document, you are able to customize it to meet your needs and your situation. For example, if you have minor children, you may include a clause that allows for your named Attorney(s) to use your personal funds for their care or the care of your Spouse. You may also want to include the appropriate clauses necessary to allow your Attorney(s) to deal with your B.C. Real Estate, including managing existing mortgages and potentially even have the ability to sell your home if you needed the funds to obtain better care if you are unable to return home.
Do you need a Power of Attorney if you are Joint Owners of everything with your Spouse? Yes, especially if you own Real Estate in B.C. It is important to note that most people incorrectly believe that owning land as Joint Tenants in B.C. is similar to that of ownership of a joint bank account insofar as their Spouse is able to treat all the funds in the bank account as their own and can use or add to the funds at their own discretion.
B.C. Real Estate, however, differs significantly. Joint Tenancy with land ownership simply means Right of Survivorship and no one would have the ability to sign on your behalf, regardless of the relationship you have with one another, without the proper documentation while you are still alive.
Can a B.C. Notary give legal advice with regards to my Estate plan including a Power of Attorney? Absolutely! As highly trained professionals, we are here to assist you in completing your full and complete Estate plan anytime.
Kristy and her team are just a call away! Book an appointment at 250-388-5905 or visit the Farley Martin Notaries portal listing here on GoWestShore.