Wills & Powers of Attorney

A legal Will eases the process and burden for those left behind.

No one likes to think of their death or what will happen when they have passed on. Some will avoid the conversation at all costs, putting it off, while others will become obsessed with “what-ifs”. Having a Will is not a confirmation that you will die. Death is a given. We never know what will happen or when it will be our time to pass on.

A Will simply provides you the peace of mind that whatever earthly possessions you own, loved ones left behind or young ones in your care, will be taken care of. A legal Will eases the process and burden for those left behind.

If you die without a Will, the law will determine how your estate is to be distributed. A Will allows you to take advantage of opportunities to minimize and even avoid certain fees and taxes upon your death through careful Will planning.

A Will should be viewed as a crucial document that everyone should possess and not a consideration only for the elderly.

Lyons Law completes Wills in a very cost effective manner.

What is a Power of Attorney and why is it important that everyone over 18 have one?

The future is uncertain and we never know when tragedy may strike. It could be an illness such as dementia or an accident that leaves you in a coma. Whatever the reason, you could be rendered incapable to make decisions for yourself.

Many people believe that if something happens and they are unable to make decisions for themselves, their family can do so for them. This is not necessarily true. Legal authority is required for people to make decisions on your behalf. You can grant this authority by completing the Powers of Attorney.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants an individual of your choice, the right to act on your behalf. It does not need to be a lawyer. It can be anyone you choose who is over the age of 18.

There are two types of Powers of Attorney:

  1. Property: When you are lacking the capacity to make decisions, the person you appoint in the Continuing Power of Attorney for Property will possess all the rights and responsibilities specified to control all of your property. This means they can manage a variety of things such as managing bank accounts, managing your business, paying bills like rent, utilities, taxes or if the need arises ending them, etc. BUT this only takes effect at the time that you are deemed to no longer have capacity. Don’t worry, the person you appoint doesn’t get to make that decision on their own. (The power of attorney never gives them power to change your Will.)
  2. Personal Care: When you are lacking the capacity to make decisions, the person you appoint in the Power of Attorney for Personal Care will possess all the rights and responsibilities to make personal care decisions for you including decisions pertaining to: health care, medical care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and safety on your behalf. You can appoint more than one attorney for personal care. You can incorporate your Living Will into your power of attorney for personal care. What this means is you can state what you want or don’t want if you are in a hospital. Examples are Do Not Resuscitate (DNRs) or extraordinary measures, or if you have certain religious or spiritual beliefs and want them respected (ie. blood transfusions, use of antibiotics etc).

You can restrict authority and ensure certain choices are respected within the Powers of Attorney.

While it's very important to consider whether to grant a Power of Attorney, you are not legally required to do so and no one can make you sign one if you choose not to. But remember, if you don't grant a Power of Attorney, someone may have to be formally appointed by the court to make decisions for you.

Would it not make sense for YOU to choose a person you can trust?