Alzheimer Society of Ontario and Ontario Bar Association partner for MAKE A WILL MONTH

TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2015 /CNW/ - This November the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and Ontario Bar Association are again partnering for MAKE A WILL MONTH to help more Ontarians preserve their wishes and safeguard their loved ones by making a Will and a power of attorney.

Many Ontarians believe that Alzheimer's disease only affects older people. However, up to 10% of all Alzheimer cases and other dementias start before the age of 65. When a capacity issue strikes, a person may no longer be able to complete or change a Will.

During MAKE A WILL MONTH, the organizations are collaborating to dispel common myths and promote helpful information about capacity issues and end-of-life planning. Toolkits and other resources developed by the organizations will assist people in taking the first steps: determining their goals, collecting the relevant information, and preparing for an estate-planning meeting with a lawyer.

"Every day we see the emotional and financial costs to families that can result from the failure to make a Will or a power of attorney," said Chris Dennis, CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. "We're joining with the OBA for MAKE A WILL MONTH to help people take the steps needed to have these important documents in place."

"The OBA is proud to work with the Alzheimer Society to help people complete the process of getting a properly drafted Will that provides protection and peace of mind," said Ed Upenieks, OBA President. "The Alzheimer Society of Ontario has a wealth of experience helping people be prepared before they are unable to make decisions on their own."

"Getting the right legal advice to plan your estate and make a Will is an affordable way to safeguard your wishes and avoid unnecessary expenses and delays in the administration of your estate," said Jane Martin, Chair of the OBA Trusts and Estates Section.

"Not only will it make the distribution of your assets easier for your beneficiaries during a time of grief, but leaving a gift to a charity in your estate will actually save you money, today and tomorrow!" said Colleen Bradley, Chief Development Officer at the Alzheimer Society. "You are doing a favour to your beneficiaries, charities you support and ultimately yourself."

The Alzheimer Society has an Estate Planner and Guide to help in this process. Visit: www.alzsuperhero.ca/ for more information or go to: OBA.org/makeawill

Join in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #OBAmakeawill and #AlzSuperhero.

10 tips to get started on your Will today

Did you know that 50% of Canadians do not have a Will? That's why for this November's Make a Will Month, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario and the Ontario Bar Association are partnering to get the word out. Get started on a Will today! It saves taxes, specifies beneficiaries and leaves a legacy to the world.

A Will can seem like a big job. But it's not as hard you think. Here are 10 tips for creating your Will!

  1. Ask for expert advice from an estate lawyer. Don't do it yourself. Your wishes and assets are too important.
  2. Prepare a list of your assets (real estate, investments, personal effects) and liabilities (mortgages and debt).
  3. You should keep your Will with a lawyer or trust company. However, always keep an unsigned copy at home for reference!
  4. Store all of your legal and financial documents in a binder so that your Executor/Trustee can access them easily.
  5. Choose an Executor/Trustee who is mature and capable of conducting business affairs. Also it's best to choose someone younger than yourself.
  6. When creating your list of beneficiaries, consider distributing your estate in percentages, rather than fixed amounts, in case the value of your estate changes.
  7. If you make a charitable bequest in your Will, you could actually increase the amount of money passed on to your beneficiaries by reducing your tax burden. Meet with an estate planning professional to find a strategy best suited to your needs and goals.
  8. You need two people to sign as witnesses for your Will. They should be younger than you and reside in Canada in case they are called upon to give evidence as to the execution of your Will.
  9. Review your Will every few years. Your family, tax and investment circumstances can all change.
  10. A Will is what you leave behind. Reflect on what you want to be remembered for and what kind of legacy you want for future generations.

About the Alzheimer Society of Ontario

The Alzheimer Society of Ontario and its network of Local Societies across the province offer Help for Today through programs and services for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias and Hope for Tomorrow… by funding research to find the cause and the cure. www.alzheimerontario.ca

About the Ontario Bar Association

The Ontario Bar Association is a branch of the Canadian Bar association, representing more than 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students across Ontario. The OBA provides continuing professional development, undertakes public legal education and advocates for improvements to the law in the interests of the profession and the public. www.oba.org

SOURCE Ontario Bar Association

Video with caption: "Video: November is Make a Will Month! A Super Hero has the courage to protect what’s important and makes the world a better place. Be an Alzheimer Society Super Hero. Protect your family. Plan for the future. Take action. Get your Will and Powers of Attorney in place.". Video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plyUX-Z5wc4

For further information: Media Contact: Colleen Bradley and Shawn Paron, Chief Development Officers, Planned Giving, (416) 967-5900 x 8913, CBradley@alzheimeront.org, SParon@alzheimeront.org; Gordon Smith, Manager, Media Relations and Communications, gsmith@oba.org, (416) 869-1047 x 364


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