It depends. Online information and forms can be useful. However, non-lawyers frequently, and almost always, fail to complete the legal documents correctly. Nothing replaces the expertise of a professional.
Can my husband and I use the same lawyer if we are separated, amicable, and we agree on everything?Anthony R. Leardi2019-04-17T11:49:47+00:00
Yes. Common-law spouses have legal rights including the legal right to spousal support in certain circumstances. A common-law partner might even be entitled to a share of your property if they can prove certain facts that would give them a legal claim to your property.
Will the government take care of everything if I die without a Will?Anthony R. Leardi2019-04-17T11:49:04+00:00
No. Somebody has to apply to the court to become the executor of the estate. That will be more expensive and take much longer than simply making a Will. Furthermore, dying without a Will practically guarantees that the government will take the maximum of taxes from all assets and sources of income.
Can I do a Power of Attorney for my elderly father who is in a nursing home and cannot make decisions for himself?Anthony R. Leardi2019-04-17T11:47:03+00:00
No. You cannot “do” a Power of Attorney for someone else. A person must do a Power of Attorney when they are still capable of understanding what they are doing. If they have lost capacity, then it is too late to sign a Power of Attorney.
A Living Will is another word for Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a document which indicates who will make decisions for you when you are still alive but somehow incapable of making decisions for yourself. Everyone should have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care and a Power of Attorney for Property.
Do I need to re-do my Will every couple of years?Anthony R. Leardi2019-04-17T11:46:18+00:00
It depends. The Succession Law Reform Act specifically provides for the possibility of hand-written Wills. However, non-lawyers almost always fail to prepare a hand-written Will correctly. Again, nothing replaces the expertise of a professional.
Do all my investments and life insurance become part of my Will?Anthony R. Leardi2019-04-17T11:45:33+00:00
You may choose to put investments and life insurance proceeds in your Will. However, doing so might attract unnecessary taxes. Frequently, investments and life insurance proceeds have designated beneficiaries. This allows them to be left out of a Will and also protects them from potential tax consequences.
Can I make decisions for my mother because I am the executor of her Will?Anthony R. Leardi2019-04-17T11:43:18+00:00