Wills and Powers of Attorney for Property
Attorney: the chosen representative specified in a power of attorney. Also called the proxy or the agent.
Bequest: a declaration made in a will specifying that some or all of the estate assets are to go a specific individual or organization.
English Form Will: valid in all provinces, and is the most common form of will found under the common law in English provinces and in some areas of Quebec. This is the format used when a lawyer draws up a will.
Executor: someone named in a will to act as the legal representative to handle a deceased person’s estate.
Grantor: an individual executing a power of attorney. Also called principal.
Guardian: someone who assumes the responsibility for a minor child until that child reaches the age of majority.
Health Care Directive: see power of attorney for personal care.
Holograph Will: wholly in the handwriting of the person making the will.
Inter Vivos Trust: a trust established by an individual while she is still alive.
Joint Will: a will that has been prepared for both a husband and wife, rather than the more common practice of having a will prepared for each spouse.
Living Will: see Power of attorney for personal care.
Mirror Will: a will where each testator is the beneficiary of the other testator’s residuary estate.
Mutual Will: a mirror will, where the testators have an agreement that prevents either testator from changing his will without the consent of the other.
Notarial Will: valid only in Quebec. A notary must read the will to the testator in the presence of two notaries, or one notary and two witnesses. The testator then signs the will, along with the witnesses.
Power of Attorney: a written legal document in which and individual (the principal or grantor) appoints another person (the attorney or agent) to manage her affairs under specified circumstances.
Power of Attorney for Personal Care: a power of attorney dealing with the grantor’s personal care and health care. Also called a living will or health care directive.
Power of Attorney for Property: a power of attorney dealing with the grantor’s financial affairs.
Springing Power of Attorney: a power of attorney that does not come into effect until a triggering event has occurred, most often specified as the incapacity of the grantor. Also called contingent power of attorney.
Substitute Gifts: bequests to alternate beneficiaries in the event of the demise of the original beneficiary.
Testamentary Trust: a trust that is established through a will and that is only crated upon the testator’s death.
Testatrix/Testator: a woman/man who writes a will.
Trustee: the one who holds title to the property in the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries, who is required to carry out specific duties and has the authority to dispose of the property.
Will: a legal declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the disposition of her assets after death.