Will and Power of Attorney Pricing and Notes for 2019

Will and Power of Attorney Pricing and Notes for 2019

By Robert Lefebvre

This memo is not Legal Advice: Legal advice requires a full, personal and proper legal history. Any ideas expressed in this memo are subject to reconsideration after we meet and discuss your personal situation and consider your legal history. All prices and rates do not include HST.

Package pricing: Suitable for many families:

Note 1: Sometimes spouses chose to share all of their estate planning ideas with each other. All parties involved in a relationship should take note that a joint retainer, involving you and your spouse may significantly impact on the status of your solicitor client relationship, and the degree of solicitor -client privilege that applies to that relationship.

Therefor, even if you are a spouse you might not want the “package pricing” if you don’t have a marriage contract, you and your spouse are not the parents of exactly the same children, you have assets that you are not planning to leave to your spouse if your spouse were to survive you, and in many other circumstances.

One Person

One (1) Will and two (2) “P of A’s”, package price; $550.00 Would include Henson trusts if recommended as well as other simple testamentary trusts.

1 Will, 1 Power of Attorney $525.00 2 Powers of Attorney, only $300.00 1 Power of Attorney, only $225.00 1 Will, only $425.00 Complete package 1 Codicil & 2 PoA’s $375.00 1 Codicil & 1 PoA $350.00 1 Codicil – (not less than) $225.00

Couple’s Wills

Two (2) Wills and four (4) “P of A’s” package $650.00 Would include Henson trusts if recommended, simple testamentary trusts. See note 2.

2 Wills, 2 Powers of Attorney – husband and wife $625.00 4 Powers of Attorney, only – husband and wife $350.00 2 Powers of Attorney, only – husband and wife $300.00 2 Wills, only, husband and wife $550.00 2 Codicils – husband and wife $310.00 2 Codicils & 4 PoA’s $435.00

Out of office visits an extra $75.00 (plus HST)

Out of town visits and extra $175.00 (plus HST)

Note 2: Henson trusts are a tool used in some but not all Canadian Provinces to make it most likely that testators can see the benefit of a gift they choose to pass on to a disabled child, grandchild, sibling, parent, friend or acquaintance, who is in receipt of a government disability support cheque, such as ODSP (in Ontario). This tool eliminates the risk of loss or reduction of benefits due to the capital limits imposed on ODSP recipients. Done properly, it avoids the $5,000.00 property cap imposed on Ontario ODSP recipients. Done properly it can surpass the Ontario Policy limit of $100,000.00 presently applicable to private trusts. Ask how this might apply to your family!

Extended Package Deals

Some clients benefit from using multiple Wills to minimize the impact of Ontario Estate Administration (EA) Tax (formerly known as Probate Tax). In these circumstances each testator might have more than one Will, a primary Will and one or more that are secondary. This is done to try to shelter the assets, which will not attract EA tax from the impact of those that will attract EA tax.

One Person with 2 “Multiple” Wills,  Primary and Secondary

Two (2) Wills and 2 (two) P of A’s $650.00

Single Limited and General Will only $550.00

Two persons (a couple) with 2 “multiple” Wills, Primary and Secondary, each

Two (2) Wills and 2 (two) P of A’s each (four Wills and Four P of A’s) $750.00

Couple Limited and General Wills only $700.00

In Office Emergency P of A’s

(General Continuing P of A for Property or “finance” and a Personal Care P of A  “health”) (Creation, or review) (No Wills made at the same time) Couples: $300.00 or singles $275.00

Emergency Wills

In office: One person $400.00 some complexity limits apply

Other Estate Planning Services

Out of office visits will be billed in addition to the above depending on actual time and travel, parking etc., support staff time (for legal witnesses) etc. Update, review and other Wills and Powers of Attorney and codicil appointments will be billed at my office “B” rate for clients with non-complex assets. A definition for “complex assets” see “complex assets” notes set out below.

Presently the “B” rate for Robert Lefebvre is $300.00 per hour.

Complex estate planning Wills and multiple Wills (more than one Will for one person (estates involving multi-jurisdictional properties, active businesses and holding companies owned by any testator, special or complex tax consideration and “estate freeze” situations, involving Canadian residents or USA based non-residents, Alter Ego Trusts, Self-Benefit Trusts Joint or Conjugal Trust, capital gains tax issues and Tax Motivated charitable planning billed at the “A” rate. An accounting consult with your chartered accountant on gains, losses, deferral and carry-overs. Small Business (tax) Deductions, new active business or holding companies, corporate reorganization, income tax rollovers involving section 81, 85 or 86 of the income Tax Act and detailed analysis of your business or trust assets, and the best transition plans may be required for maximum effectiveness and coordination. Additional legal consultation may also be advisable in an appropriate case.

Estate planning deeds, living Wills, trust acknowledgments, title searches, Personal Property Security Act searches, heir searches and adoption record searches will be extra.

Note 3: Your estate plan is not just your will. Anytime you choose an option that involves joint ownership, (your house, your cottage, your bank account, your stock portfolio, or your investments other than those named above, or named beneficiaries, such as in your RRSP, your RRIF, your pension plan or your private or work related insurance, you are participating in important elements of estate planning. Your lawyer will need to know all the choices you have made, and dovetail your will to them, or change them to work with your will. Sometimes you choose to establish  Disability Support Plans for your disabled relatives.  Sometimes and Insurance Trust will let you control your life insurance products in a special way to assist the survivors


Power of Attorney

Ontario Law uses a power of attorney to allow the maker, called the donor, to delegate some or almost all personal decisions (there are limits and exclusions to what can be authorized) to a chosen “donee / substitute decision maker” at any time, but most importantly, during any period of loss of capability. Powers of Attorney come with almost unlimited options, but most people need to address the issue of emergency delegation of legal authority in the areas of financial and health care / living accommodation management. The primary pair of power of attorney the “Personal Care Power of Attorney” and a “General and Continuing Power of Attorney for Finance,” as authorized under the Substitute Decisions Act, Ontario. References in this memo to two “P of A’s” includes one of each of the above mentioned documents. Conflicts with existing bank or business Power of Attorneys must be dealt with in writing in your new Power of Attorney. New conflicts may also develop when a bank or special power of attorney is created after the creation of your primary power of attorney. A careful client must be cognizant of this, and consult their lawyer before creating additional powers of attorney not meant to override those already in place. Read everything, ask questions, and ask your lawyer.

Capacity to make, change or revoke a Will and the capacity to make, change or revoke a Power of Attorney:

Sometimes someone has put your capacity to make new estate planning documents in issue. If you or those interacting with you, or the interviewing lawyer think your capacity is going to be challenged, then, to do good and proper service for you, that issue must be addressed. If you are capable, your lawyer wants to maximize the likelihood that your wishes will be honoured, in full detail. Testing, opinions, and a full legal history, with relevant medical and family history must be undertaken as part of the interview process.

Capacity can be different on different on different days, at different times of the day, and while ill. A temporary loss of capacity is not a life sentence. Minor memory loss, by itself, is not likely a full indicator or loss of capacity. Do you /they still exercise good judgment, even if they forget whether the money is in the Toronto Bank or the Imperial Bank?

What is a Will?

To the Will maker (testator), I ask you to never forget the purpose of your assets and money (your nest egg, if you will) is to take care of you in your old age. By using a Will to deal with after death distributions, as long as you might need your assets, you can keep control of them. Remembering the purpose of your assets and money is a good starting point and will help to ensure you will not be forced to ask others, within or beyond your family, for financial assistance, even if your care costs rise dramatically. In Ontario Wills law, your Will speaks from the moment of death so:

In your Will you can:

  1. Deal with your assets the way you choose to, right up to the moment of death, but devise a plan for distributing (giving away) your assets that is to be applied on death.
  2. Choose your estate trustees (executors).
  3. Plan some, all, or none of the details of your funeral.
  4. Make choices impacting on disabled family members.
  5. Match your gifts to Ontario’s Family law rules, protecting gifts from failed marriages.
  6. Determine the placement of your collections, art, heirlooms and treasures, while continuing to enjoy them until your death.
  7. Make an absolute gift or to a limited degree, control some assets into the future.

For most of us charity begins at home, but to many people a church or charity that has been of special interest deserves some special consideration at estate planning time. Further, for the wealthy or very comfortable among us, charitable gifting in a Will can limit taxes that might fall due in the year of death.

The “A” rate for Robert Lefebvre is presently $350.00 per hour.

All prices and rates are “plus GST” and will be Plus HST when applicable.

What is a Living Will?

A living will is a directive created by you to guide your caregivers, substitute decision makers, and your medical team with regard to your care. This tool predated Ontario’s access to Personal Care Power of Attorneys, and it survives in some special cases. It overrides the discretion you give to your personal care power of attorney, similar to the way special restrictions and conditions in a personal care power of attorney might. In many cases, where the personal care power of attorney was created to fill your needs, this older form may be contra-indicated.

What to do before a Will Appointment:

Before you come to your Will appointment, prepare this information.

Think about these questions:

  1. Why you are coming to see the lawyer?
  2. Who suggested that you attend before a lawyer for advice in this area?
  3. Can you discuss with the lawyer your family tree?
  4. Do you know the location, type and value of your assets?
  5. Do you know the particulars of your pension rights and your insurance policies, including named beneficiaries? How about your RRIF’s, RRSP’s, LIRA or LIFF’s, annuities or structured settlements? Do you have stocks, bonds or Canada savings Bonds? Divorce or separation papers, a marriage contract, ongoing law suits, informal family arrangements about property, obligations, cottage rights, or powers, rights, trusteeships or things you agreed to do for others?
  6. Who, if anyone assists you with your day to day needs?
  7. Are any of your relatives missing, estranged, in receipt of Ontario or out of province Disability Pension, or extremely ill? (CPP Disability rights are distinct but worthy of mention to the lawyer.)
  8. Did you marry recently or do you intend to marry or cohabit with another?
  9. Are you supporting or regularly lending or giving money to anyone?
  10. Do you know one or more honest, intelligent, diligent individuals that might serve as your executor or estate trustee or power of attorney, or trustee in any trusts you eventually decide to create and do they know you well enough to interpret your instructions properly?
  11. Have there been many major changes in your life recently?
  12. Have you ever discussed end of life issues with anyone and whom?
  13. Are you planning surgery, vacation, over-seas deployment or flying in the near future?
  14. Do you own your own business or are you one of the key persons at your work? Does your business pay for any of your life insurance, in such a way that the premiums are not taxed in your hands?
  15. Are you actively serving as someone’s executor, trustee, or power of attorney?
  16. Are you, your spouse and children in good health?
  17. Do you own your home alone or with someone else? If you own with someone else, are you tenant in common or joint tenants. Do you have a copy of your deed? (Producing a copy of your deed is convenient, but not essential)
  18. Do you own a cottage, investment property, perhaps an extra home here or in Florida, and, if so, do you own it alone or with others?
  19. Who is the beneficiary of your insurance? Do you want to change that?
  20. What about work related benefits? Please make a detailed list.
  21. Should I go see the lawyer alone? Will the assistance of the person who might drive or accompany me to the law office create a disadvantage latter to the person or person or persons I choose to benefit? Think suspiciously and selfishly.
  22. What are my most prized possessions? Who shares my interest in them?
  23. Does your life history leave you with any doubt as who is your spouse and who are your children? Have divorce, a common law relationship, civil union, adoption, half siblings, step siblings step children or step grandchildren been part of your life? Ask your lawyer, don’t guess.
  24. Should your executor / estate trustees consider Estate Trustees Insurance?
  25. If you are an executor / estate trustee should you get Estate Trustee Insurance, When should you apply?
Wills & Estate Planning
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  • 75 Chatham Street
  • P.O. Box 488
  • Brantford ON
  • N3T 5N9

Content on this web site is strictly for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should retain competent legal counsel to advise you. If you would like to retain Lefebvre and Lefebvre LLP, please contact one of our lawyers. A solicitor-client relationship will only arise if we specifically agree to act for you.