What happens to your money after your death isn't the only issue to talk over with a lawyer. What if you become sick or injured and can't express your wishes while still alive? Who will take care of your finances and pay your bills? Or make decisions about your medical care?
You may be thinking: 'Can't my spouse just take over?' Not always. Sometimes, if they don't have the right papers, they will have to apply to the government to make decisions for you. They may not even be able to access your joint bank account. It depends on how you set up the account. In some cases, the bank can freeze a joint account if you or your spouse becomes unable to manage money because of an accident, age, or illness. That means no one can touch the money.
You can avoid these problems if you have certain legal papers that make your wishes known to your family members. These include:
- A Power of Attorney
- A Living Will.
You can discuss these important papers with your lawyer when you write your will.
Learn more now: Power of Attorney and Living Wills
Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization promoting financial literacy to Canadians. To find out more go to GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca.