Wills

Unique Will Story

Here is an interesting Will story.

In 1936 a rich Toronto fellow died. In his Will he made some specific gifts and left this direction regarding the balance of his estate: 

‘…at the expiration of ten years from my death to give [the balance] to the mother who has since my death given birth in Toronto to the greatest number of children as shown by the registrations under the Vital Statistics Act. If one or more mothers have equal highest number of registrations under the said Act to divide the said moneys and accumulations equally between them.’ 

Some mothers had several children during those 10 years. Some children were illegitimate sued to have their mother(s) included. The case hinged, in large part, on whether or not ‘children’ included illegitimate children. In late 1937 the Supreme Court of Canada ultimately decided ‘children’ did not include illegitimate children and the clause was valid.

I Don't Have Much. Do I Need a Will and Power of Attorney?

QUESTION: I just live on a pension in a rental apartment. I don't really have much. Do I need a Will and Power of Attorney? 

Senior Citizen


Dear Senior Citizen,
YES.

One of the best gifts you can give to your family, is to take a little time to make things easier after you are gone or unable to handle your affairs. 

Even if you don't have many assets, there will be matters to look after when you're gone. Your executor is the person you pick and designate in your will to arrange for your funeral, to receive and distribute your personal items and your final cheques. 

If, as you grow older, you become unable to handle your financial matters, it is important that you have chosen the person you want to do it for you. The person you pick in your "Financial Power of Attorney" will then be in charge. If you don't have a Power of Attorney, the Government, through the Public Trustee, will become involved, or your family will have to go to Court to get permission to take the job on. 

Death is one of the two famous inevitabilities. Do you want to be kept alive on a machine or let go mercifully? You may wish to put a "Living Will" provision in your "Personal Care Power of Attorney", to let your family know your thoughts. Believe me, they will be glad to know how you feel on this issue, instead of being left wondering if they did the right thing.

-Brad