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Why you need a Will and Powers of Attorney

“Peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of.”

Considering one’s own mortality isn’t a pleasant topic for even the most practical people. Nevertheless, wills and estate planning is an important and very necessary part of life.

Carefully and strategically planning your estate and having a comprehensive will can have a significant impact on our loved ones and beneficiaries. OFORI LAW can help.

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A will (or testament) is a legal declaration by which a person names one or more persons to manage their estate and provides for the distribution of their property at death.  A well written and carefully crafted will from an attorney can eliminate any conflict about how your estate is divided between your loved ones and other beneficiaries.  From a financial perspective, a strategically planned will can ensure that your assets are distributed in the most tax-efficient manner possible, thereby maximizing the value of the inheritance your beneficiaries receive.

Wills should be tailored to match your unique situation: there are so many considerations that must be taken into account and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all will.  Your will must consider the nature of all of the assets that you have and who you want to include as your beneficiaries.  The most tax-friendly strategy for your will might include multiple wills to cover how your assets will be distributed, or maybe different wills in different jurisdictions depending on the assets that you own.  Who your will lists as your beneficiaries must also be considered as there are special cases, such as a beneficiary who receives disability income, that will dictate the best and most efficient way to plan your estate.

Many people believe that wills are only for the elderly – this is not the case.  The reality is that any of us can pass away at any time and a will is equally important regardless of your age.  We council our clients to allow us to craft them a will as soon as they start owning assets or as soon as they have children who would stand to inherit their assets in the event of their passing, and to keep their wills fully up to date as their situations change.  We can help with estate planning and crafting a will for single persons, couples, the young and old alike.

Wills don’t just govern what happens when a person passes away – they also address situations where a person is physically or mentally incapacitated and cannot make decisions regarding the handling of their assets and estate.  In such cases, a will names the person in a Power of Attorney for personal care to make important decisions about the personal care and health decisions.  A will also names someone who can make important financial decisions about one’s estate with a continuing Power of Attorney for property.

For business owners there is a strong tie between our business planning services and wills and estate planning.  Since the value of businesses can be so high it is imperative that you carefully and thoroughly dictate how and to whom your estate, including your business holdings, will be distributed to.  Failing to do so can result in significant portions of your estate being unnecessarily lost to taxes and other government fees.  Our business estate planning initiatives include corporate reorganizations, estate freezes and rollovers.  Visit our business planning page to learn more.

Will and estate planning are very important considerations for everyone.  If you haven’t considered how your estate will be handled or if you don’t have a comprehensive will, contact us and we’ll help you through this sensitive but important process.

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