Did you know that you have an Estate even though you are not someone as famous as Richard Branson? Talking to our clients, we are always surprised when folks say; “oh I just have my house and a few odds and ends. I’m not rich – I don’t have an Estate and it costs too much to put a Will in place.” Did you know that the Government views anything over $1,000 as part of your estate and subject to the Estate Administrative Tax?
According to a survey (located under Other News Archive) released by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Co. (LawPRO), a majority of Canadian adults (56 per cent) do not have a signed Will. The survey also reveals that 71 per cent of Canadian adults do not have a signed Power of Attorney.
The study found 88 per cent of Canadians polled between the ages of 27 and 34 do not have a Will and their most common reason for not having one is because they believe they are too young (21 per cent). Results also indicate that 29 per cent of Canadian adults do not have a Will because they either do not know how to get started or believe they cannot afford one.
So what is the definition of an estate?
An Estate is:
- Property or possessions
- The legal position or status of an owner, considered with respect to property owned in land or other things
- The degree or quantity of interest that a person has in land with respect to the nature of the right, its duration, or its relation to the rights of others
- Interest, ownership, or property in land or other things
- The property of a deceased person
A Legacy is:
- A gift of property, especially personal property, such as money, by will; a bequest.
- Anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.
With this in mind, potentially everyone has an Estate and what they document in their Will is their Legacy. You can make a Will at any time after the age of 18. As soon as you become financially independent of your parents, we encourage you to have an Estate Plan. More people tend to think of a Will and Power of Attorney at key milestones in their life including; marriage, the purchase of home, having children, re-marriage, becoming self-employed, etc.
In their June 2010 edition, Canadian Lawyer magazine conducted a survey with the legal community across Canada to find out what lawyers are charging clients to prepare Wills and Powers of Attorney. The link to the digital edition of the magazine is here. (Please note you will need to be a scriber to access the full article).
In their 2010 edition the fees for Ontario were in the range of:
To do a simple Will from – $278 to $510
To do a complex Will from – $704 to $2,061
To do a Power of Attorney – from $108 to $219
So think about this… The average person could spend about $600 to have a Will and Power of Attorney completed that will save their families potentially thousands of dollars in taxes and legal fees, not to mention the stress of having to manage the issues that can and often do arise. Remember, death does not have an age or date in mind.
We’d love the opportunity to speak with you about your end-of-life plan. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.
Until next time,
The team at OPEBE