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Fax: 416-491-0273

Garry Cass, ext.207
Assistant: Josie Dobosz, ext. 277

Estate Planning is the Same as Making a Will

Many people believe that estate planning is the same as making a will and since they have one, they see no reason to go further. However, it is necessary to consider other issues, such as incompetency and power of attorney.

A Metaphor

Just for a moment, think about your favourite hobby or pastime. One of the things you probably enjoy is that there is always something more to learn and every new aspect that you master leads to new areas of pursuit. It’s like dropping a ball into water and watching the waves spread and spread.

Estate planning is similar. On the surface, it is about nothing more than a Will but as you learn more, you will see more and more possibilities.

Other Aspects of Estate Planning

Power of Attorney: At the very least, you should consider Powers of Attorney. This decides who will be the substitute decision-maker should anything happen to you leading to mental incapacity. If no-one is designated with this power, there can be a fight for control or the estate and your person. Just as bad is giving the power to the wrong person: someone who depletes assets so badly that there is nothing to give away under the Will.

Other Choices: In the article on setting aside time I suggested you have a team of advisors and ask them to create a proposal for you regarding your estate. The proposal will be based on a number of important factors including

  • how aggressive a plan you want,
  • cost, and
  • the projected efficiencies and savings to be realized.

If more than Wills and Powers of Attorney are called for, the proposal will suggest things like alter ego trusts or joint partner trusts, other living trusts or estate freezes. The proposal will suggest how to best deal with the issues that are of concern to you.

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