Estate law deals with the regulation of wills, trusts, probate, and other subjects related to the distribution of a deceased person’s estate. Our attorneys have decades of experience when it comes to estate planning, so you can rest assured you and your loved ones are in good hands.
We know estate planning can feel overwhelming; all the aspects of estate law coupled with the legal jargon can be confusing at first. To help you understand the importance of estate planning, we’ve broken down the different elements below:
What is an ‘estate’?
An “estate” refers to the net worth of a person at any time, living or dead. It is the sum of their assets – legal rights, interests, and entitlements to property – less all liabilities at that time. It is the property that a person owns or has legal interest and is often used to describe the assets and liabilities left by a person after their death.
What is ‘estate planning’?
“Estate planning” has to do with the transfer of someone’s assets, such as their property, belongings, and finances among a variety of other personal matters at the time of their death. Wills, Power of Attorney, and Trusts are all common tools used in estate planning.
Our attorneys at Kazembe Law help you plan your estate thoroughly by ensuring all your assets are accounted for to help facilitate a seamless execution in the event of your passing. Although thinking about the distribution of your assets can feel uncomfortable, it is vital in ensuring your estate is handled in accordance with your wishes and can help avoid disagreements and conflict among your loved ones.
What is a ‘will’?
A “will” is a written document that takes effect after a person’s death. It describes an individual’s wishes as to how their estate should be handled and distributed after their passing.
The loss of a loved one is always a difficult experience, and dealing with estate division and taxes only adds to the stress of the situation. By ensuring your will is comprehensive and up-to-date, you can ensure that your family will not have to deal with additional stresses such as these in the event of your untimely passing.
People often avoid thinking about death, as our culture has grown to be uncomfortable with the topic. However, it is important to acknowledge the fact that life is a fragile and uncertain experience and to have your affairs in order should any unexpected accident befall you. By arranging your estate and advance medical directive ahead of time, you can rest assured that your last wishes will be respected and upheld with the full force of the law.
When drafting your will, it is essential to consult a qualified estate lawyer with extensive experience and knowledge about local estate and inheritance protocol. Kazembe and Associates provide distinguished services in Canadian estate law and will ensure that your heirs and estate are protected with an ironclad will.
What is a ‘power of attorney’?
A “Power of Attorney”, commonly referred to as a “POA”, is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf if something happens that prevents you from making decisions on your own.
There are two types of a“Power of Attorney”. Power of Attorney for Personal Care enables the person you appoint to make decisions about your healthcare, housing, and other aspects of your personal life if you become mentally incapacitated to make such decisions. The second type is Power of Attorney for Property, in which the appointee is responsible for making decisions about your financial affairs.
Many people believe that their families can simply step in and make decisions should they no longer be able to, however, this can lead to problems as family members may disagree as to who has the right to make decisions regarding your medical care or your estate.
When preparing your will and arranging your finances and advanced medical directive, it is important to grant a trusted acquaintance power of attorney in the event of your incapacitation. Power of attorney is also important for those who are not necessarily incapacitated, but who are more comfortable relinquishing the responsibility of managing their estate to a trusted advisor.
When selecting an individual to name as your attorney, it is important to choose a person you trust to act in your best interests. However, it is also vital that this person is qualified to act on your behalf, and possesses the requisite knowledge and skills to make wise decisions. When preparing your power of attorney document, the best course of action is to enlist the help of a qualified legal representative with extensive experience with these types of documents. Kazembe and Associates has been preparing power of attorney authorizations for decades and will ensure that your wishes are articulated in clear, legally-binding language.
What is a ‘trust’?
A “trust” is created for the purpose of holding property, funds, or assets, for a particular person referred to as the “beneficiary”. It is managed by an individual known as a “trustee” who has an obligation to deal with and manage the property for the beneficiary of the trust. Our lawyers can help you understand the various types of trusts so you can determine which is best for you.
One convenient way to protect your estate from taxation and provide for the future welfare of family members, heirs and others in your charge is to establish a trust. A trust is an arrangement in which assets are managed by an external representative for the benefit of another person.
Trusts can take on many different forms and can be managed by individuals, boards, companies, and various other entities. When establishing a trust, it is important to take into consideration all applicable laws and regulations in order to ensure maximum protection of the asset. When planning for the future welfare of those who are important to you, it is important to know that your legal counsel has an exemplary track record and top-notch reputation.
*Past results are not indicative of future results and each case is determined on its merits*. Kazembe and Associates is widely versed in estate law and can work with you to develop a comprehensive, unimpeachable trust regardless of the specifics of your particular situation.
Our team has extensive experience in preparing wills, trusts, and other estate-related legal documents. Contact us today to set up a consultation and begin planning your estate.