WILLS

Whether you have recently lost a loved one or just preparing for the future of your family, dealing with wills and estate probate is something most people will encounter at some point of their life. Ross|Chepil can help you navigate what can be a very personal and sometimes difficult legal issue.
Our office will prepare all necessary documents and guide you through creating important documents such as wills, power of attorneys, and set up trusts to manage your assets. Ross|Chepil will make certain that your wishes regarding your will are expressly set out and set in place.  Our lawyers will handle an estate probate to obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with or without Will and  file all documents with the Court.

Wills

Why have a Will? The answer is simple – it is a great tool that will enable you to plan your affairs upon death in a manner that suits your wishes. Last Will is a written document clearly setting out your wishes on how your estate shall be distributed upon your death; it must be signed and witnessed. Last Will only takes effect after person’s death.  In your Last Will and Testament, you may:

  1. Designate an individual or individuals to administer your estate (executor).
  2. Grant certain powers to your estate executor(s) such as how to distribute your assets, including powers to invest or sell the assets and reinvest the proceeds etc.
  3. Manage distribution of assets for the benefit of minor beneficiaries.
  4. Indicate receivers of your personal and household effects.

 

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, you may need to revise your Last Will and Testament, for instance death of the estate trustee or named beneficiary.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney (P.O.A.) is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf. You can name an individual to make financial decisions for you, such as paying your bills, with a continuing power of attorney for property.

For personal care and health decisions such as where you live, what you eat or what medical care you will receive if you get sick or injured, you can name someone in a power of attorney for personal care.

A Power of Attorney a.k.a. “living will” only apply while you are alive and cease to be effective upon your death. In addition, there is no requirement that these documents be registered. However, you may want to make sure that the people in your life who are named in the POA know about these documents and have a copy or know how to locate one.

If the document is properly completed, signed and witnessed, and you had the legal capacity to give the POA there are no further steps that need to be taken in order for it to be legally binding. Please note, some people, for example, your spouse and children, are not allowed to serve as a witness to you when signing the POA.


Estate Probate

An estate probate is a legal process that deals with deceased property upon their death. An application for “probate” (with a will) or “administration” (without a will) is filed at the Superior Court of Justice located in the county or district where the deceased had his or her permanent residence. Dealing with the death of your loved ones can be very emotional, that is why our lawyers will assist you in every step of this process, including:

1. Preparing all necessary Court Applications.
2. Meeting with you for signatures.
3. Filling all necessary documents with the Court.
4. Filling Estate Information Return with the Ministry of Finance after the Certificate of Estate Trustee has been received.

Please note that there is tax payable to the Minister of Finance on probate:

How do I calculate the amount of the estate administration tax?

The estate administration tax is calculated on the total value of the deceased’s estate wherever situated, that is sworn to on the application for a certificate of appointment of estate trustee
under “Value of Assets of Estate”. The formula for calculating the amount of the tax is set out in
the Estate Administration Tax Act, 1998 as follows:

  • $5 for each $1,000, or part thereof, of the first $50,000 of the value of the estate, and
  • $15 for each $1,000, or part thereof, of the value of the estate exceeding $50,000.

The following is the list we need to commence our work on estate probate:

  1. Death Certificate;
  2. List of Assets of the deceased;
  3. Name(s), address(es) and date(s) of birth of all beneficiaries and trusties;

Certain assets of an estate do not need to be probated. Please call to find out more.