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Personal Estate Planning

Fees at Death and Power of Attorney

 

Fees at Death
Here’s a list of other fees that can deplete your estate upon your death:

Power of Attorney
People often arrange their financial affairs for retirement and death, but seldom consider administration requirements should they become temporarily or permanently incapacitated.

Probate Fees
The value of your estate, which passes under your will, is subject to provincial probate fees. The scale is as follows:

Value of Estate Probate fees payable (Fees as of February 1999)
Less than $25,000 – None
$25,000 – $50,000 – $6 per $1,000 of estate value
$50,000 + – $14 per $1,000 of estate value

Legal Fees
Legal Fees range from 1% to 2% depending upon the size of the estate. Keep in mind, the more work, the higher the fees.

Executor Fees
The executor, the person who carries out the instructions given in your will, is entitled to be paid. A professional executor is paid about 5% of the value of the estate under administration. Additional fees can be charged against the income of the estate if the estate must be held in trust for any length of time.

Funeral Expenses
Today, funeral costs range between $7,500 and $20,000.

Power of Attorney – Putting the Right Person in Charge
People often arrange their financial affairs for retirement and death, but seldom consider administration requirements should they become temporarily or permanently incapacitated. By appointing an attorney, you allow someone you trust to manage your property (e.g., home) and/or your personal care (e.g., medical treatment) if you become unable to act, due to illness or disability.

Without an attorney, if you become incompetent, the government may appoint a public trustee to manage your financial and personal affairs. Chances are this person may not be the best person to assume the responsibility.

Although there are some provincial variations, generally an attorney should:

  •  Act with honestly and integrity and in good faith, for your benefit.
  • Choose the least restrictive, least intrusive, and most appropriate course of action available.
  • Encourage you to participate, the best of your abilities, in decisions about your property and personal care.
  • Foster regular personal contact between you and those family members/friends who support you.
  • Consult from time to time with supportive family and friends, and with those providing for your personal care.
  • Follow the instructions and wishes you made when you are capable.

When selecting an attorney for your property and/or personal care, think about the person

  • Does he/she know well enough to make property and/or personal decisions on your behalf?
  • Do you trust this person to accept the responsibility and follow your instructions and wishes even if he/she may disagree with what you want?
  • Discuss your choice with your family, lawyer or physician.
  • Be sure to review your choice annually.

Talk to the person

  • Ask that person if he/she is willing to be your attorney.
  • Inform them of their responsibilities.
  • Discuss your reasons for selecting an attorney.
  • Discuss your instructions and how you want them carried out.

Many provinces have made or are in the process of making changes to regulations regarding an attorney. Your lawyer or legal advisor can assist you in the preparation of a power of attorney.

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