Cpl Stubborn is about to deploy on a 9-month tour. He is happily married with 4 children and they own a very nice home in a very new development in St Albert. The home is filled with all the latest tech and all the bells and whistles of the average Canadian family. The garage contains 2 newer model SUVs, a boat, an RV and a couple of ATVs. Along with all of this “stuff”, a moderate but manageable debt also exists.
As Cpl Stubborn is proceeding through the DAG process, the Clerk asks if he has a more up-to-date Will. He indicates that the one on his pers file from basic training in Ste
Even though his family has now grown, and his personal and financial situations have changed, he has obviously not updated his Will. He’s not sure why he can’t just complete another military Will and save the $800 – $1000.
Cpl. Stubborn needs to learn a few things!
A little wordy but we know you’re smart.
- A civilian estate package not only contains a Will, it should also contain an Enduring Power of Attorney and a Personal Directive
- Like the military Will, the civilian Will indicates who you have appointed as your Executor to handle the administrative duties of taking care or your estate. But that’s where the similarities end. (And when your military Will chokes on itself)
The civilian Will does a lot more than just take care of your “stuff”; in fact, the “stuff” isn’t even specifically addressed in a Will. Most people will be advised to include a memorandum as part of their Will that will list the “stuff” and indicate to whom the “stuff” is to be given to. You’ll choose an Executor who will follow the instruction in the Will regarding the memorandum and they will distribute the items as listed.
A civilian Will:
- has a lot more detail than a military Will
- it names guardians for minor children and other such decisions.
- should also be done by the significant other or partner at the same time as the Military member. This is to facilitate a “mirrored” Will for other person so that if something were to happen to both of you, both Wills are similar in the instruction for the care of the minor children and in the other decisions to be made.
- can lay out the instructions on the formation of Trusts for the financial well-being of the minor children. Government (CRA) registered charities can also be designated as estate recipients.
- Gives instructions to the Executor to take care of many other administrative details such as dealing with the debts of the estate, the paying taxes if required and in some cases specific instructions can be given for the funeral or the disposal of the earthly remains.
- Military Wills DO NOT have the provisions to deal with the complexities of a military family living on the economy.
A Power of Attorney will be needed if Cpl Stubborn were to be injured and he no longer has the mental capacity to make financial and other daily-living decisions for himself.
A Personal Directive (in some areas of Canada, this is still called a “Living Will”) will give his appointed Agent the authority to make any medical decisions that are required if he can’t make them himself.
My word of advice?
Spend the $800-$1,000 and take care of your family as well as you do your country.
Catherine M. Christensen
Barrister & Solicitor