25 years experience, a highly skilled lawyer and Notary Public, Shameela Chinoy serves clients in Yonge and Sheppard area in Toronto. During COVID we commit to offer you services in a safe and socially distanced manner

Will/Power of Attorney

Wills and Powers of Attorney for Property and Personal Care are important for the managing your financial and legal affairs.  

Will If you die without a valid will, Ontario law will determine what happens to your property. This is intestate succession and your property will be distributed to your spouse and children or, if you do not have a spouse or child, to other living relatives according to Ontario’s intestate succession law.  If there are no relatives to inherit your property your estate will go to the government.  If you have minor children and die without a will, a court will determine who will care for your children and their property if their other parent is unavailable or found to be unfit to do so. A  carefully planned Will protects the assets in your estate  from unnecessary taxation and limits potential probate fees payable and ensures that your estate passes only to those whom you have chosen as beneficiaries. Re-marriage will make invalid any previously made will unless it was made by you in contemplation of the marriage.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care A Power of Attorney for Personal Care  allows one or more persons you trust to make medical  decisions on your behalf in circumstances where you may be unable to provide informed medical consent.

You may provide specific instructions to your attorney in this document. For example, you may specify where you would like to live, or to keep you in own home as long as possible with a caregiver instead of moving to a nursing home. You may also give the attorney a blanket authority to make all decisions for you.  Alternatively, you may decline to recieve treatment such as artificial life supports or the taking of heroic or extraordinary measures, as determined by your attorney alone or in consultation with your doctor(s), a religious adviser and/or family members. You may specify that your attorney must get confirmation of your incapacity before he/she acts, and how the confirmation is to be obtained for example, by your doctor. The attorney is required to follow your instructions, despite his personal beliefs, unless it is impossible for him to do so. If no instructions are provided, your attorney must make decisions according to what he/she believes are in your best interests at the time.   

Power of Attorney for Property Is a legal document that gives another person legal authority to make decisions about your finances and property, but not personal health or care if you become unable to make those decisions. A Power of Attorney for Property is the document that allows one or more persons you trust to make property related and financial decisions on your behalf in circumstances where you may be unable to do so for medical reasons such as incapacity due to an illness or if you are travelling and away from the country. You must appoint as attorney someone who is trustworthy and who can be relied to act in your best interests. Your attorney may pay your bills, buy items for you such as medical supplies or pay nursing home/retirement home fees, deposit cheques, do your taxes, make loans, or anything you may legally do. Basically, your attorney “steps into your shoes”. Power of Attorney for Property be limited to a time or task, or give a general blanket authority. It may authorize only a specific transaction, for example: listing your house and/or signing the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. The Power of Attorney is called “Continuing” because it continues to be used after you are no longer mentally capable of making those financial decisions yourself.  Most banks have a power of attorney which may be used ONLY to deal with your financial affairs at that bank. 

You may appoint a sole attorney to act or joint attorneys who may act together or separately. Two attorneys offer a “double check”  however, if you appoint joint attorneys, specify how disagreements are to be resolved, otherwise a court application may become necessary. If you want them to able to act separately, specify that they will act “jointly and severally” which means “both together and separately”. Otherwise, the joint attorneys must agree on all decisions. Alternatively, you should appoint substitute or alternate attorneys just in case the first attorney is not willing or able to act.

The Power of Attorney will give the attorney you appoint the authority to act as soon as it is made, unless you specify otherwise. You may still, however, look after your own affairs while mentally capable. You may authorize your lawyer to leave it with a trusted third person and give written directions as to when the Power of Attorney may be released to your attorney. Give the attorney a copy. You may set a specific start date or a particular event to trigger its use. It may say that the Power of Attorney is only effective if you become mentally incapable of managing your property. Give specific directions as to how and by whom this is decided. Otherwise, an assessment of your mental health conducted by a qualified capacity assessor may become necessary and this can be costly.

For more information about Wills and Powers of Attorney for Property and Personal Care and other state planning tools and to schedule an appointment please contact schinoy@chinoylaw.com  or call 416 227 2082. Book Consultation.