Werner C. Duever

Financial Security Advisor
Investment Representative
Freedom 55 Financial

Wills, Powers of Attorneys and Executors

Welcome to fall and cooler weather. At least the trees bring colour. It’s time to think about midterm exams for students and preparations for the holiday season. It’s time to prepare the cars and home for the cold weather and bring out the warmer clothing. It’s time for winter kale from our backyard garden. Mmmm . . . kale shakes!

One thing my wife and I did recently was get our wills, power of attorney and directive of personal care prepared by Russ Monteith. I think it is good to be proactive to have our final wishes and directives in place before something happens so it makes things easier for decision making in case of an unexpected illness or death.

In October, I participated in a couple of Dynamic Fund webinars on being an executor. This is a very responsible job and one you should assign to a person who is local, responsible with money and has your best interest in mind. The duties of an executor are many and I have material to help with the process. The statistics of how many individuals who have no will or haven't updated their will and powers of attorney for health and finances is alarming:

  • 70 per cent of Canadians are either without a current or valid will1
  • 99 per cent of Canadians intend to name a family member as their executor2
  • There are 18 areas where negligence by an executor can result in personal liability to beneficiaries and creditors of the estate3
  • Canadian executors have reported legal difficulties, emotional issues and administrative complications4

Needless to say being an executor is a huge job and commitment to make.

If your will, power of attorney or directive of personal care hasn't been updated recently there could be complications upon your passing like a former spouse getting some or all of the deceased’s estate. If there is no will in place (called "intestacy") then government probate officers make the decisions on the distribution of the estate. In this newsletter I have included an article on the probate process. Please know that life insurance and segregated fund policies could bypass probate so there are no fees for this portion of someone's estate, provided that a beneficiary(ies) is/are listed.

  1. Source: Leave a Legacy, CAGP Report
  2. Source: Stats Canada, BMO Leger Poll
  3. Source: Scot Dalton, president ERAssure Executor Insurance
  4. Source: BMO Leger Poll