It’s Not Going to Happen to Me
by Mark Nichol

Procrastination and avoidance are two things that you don’t want to be remembered for. What happens when you are mentally incompetent and have no Power of Attorney (POA) or you die without a valid Will. Since you won’t have to deal with it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care.

If you become incapable of managing your affairs and do not have an enduring POA or representation agreement and you have property which requires management, a committee of estate will have to be appointed. This can be a friend or family member. The Public Guardian and Trustee (PG&T) will be appointed if no one is available to act.

Without a POA you will essentially pass all of your investments and bank accounts over to the Committee or to the PGT to take care of your needs for long as you are living, even if your spouse is still alive. Trust law dictates how your money is invested and the fees charged by the PG&T are to pay for the administration and safe keeping of assets. If your spouse or family member would like to administer your assets to have more control over how you are being taken care of, this person may apply to the court for a Commiteeship over your assets. This process can cost several thousand dollars. Every year your accounts will have to be prepared and passed by the PG&T with fees paid to PG&T to ensure the Committee person is handling the assets according to trust law. Any delays or omissions are subject to scrutiny and possible action by the PG&T in accordance with the law. How horrible to put your family through this. The PG&T is currently managing $489 Million for 3759 adult clients in this province.

Further to this, If the PG&T is committee over the assets and the client dies without a valid will the PG&T will not be able to release the assets until some brave family member decides to apply for letters of administration through the courts to distribute the remaining value of the estate. According to The Wills, Estates and Succession Act if you die and have no valid will you have died intestate and your estate will be distributed according to law and may not represent your wishes. All non joint assets don’t simply go to your spouse. If you have no family, the Province will be your beneficiary. Any adopted children will not be included. No charities will be considered, no tax planning will be done, no special consideration is given to mental or physically challenged dependents.
Arguments over personal items and rifts in the family will ultimately be the legacy you have left behind.

Don’t be that person, talk to your financial advisor to put your affairs in order, see your lawyer/notary to create or review your existing Will and POA. This will be time well spent. While you are motivated to make these changes you may also want to pick up a free copy of the best funeral planning guide available.

This article was prepared solely by Mark Nichol, Roy Collings, and David Storrie who are registered representatives of HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities), a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). iA Securities is a trade name and business name under which Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. operates. The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Infinity Wealth alone and not those of HollisWealth. The comments contained herein are general in nature and professional advice regarding an individual’s particular situation should be obtained in respect of any person’s specific circumstances. HollisWealth and the Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. (iA Securities) companies do not provide income tax preparation services nor do they supervise or review other persons who may provide such services. Infinity Wealth is a personal trade name of Mark Nichol, Roy Collings, and David Storrie.