Do I need a will?
We get asked this question a lot. So we’ve provided some basic information to help you with your financial planning…
What exactly is a will?
A will is a legal document that details how you want your estate to be divided when you die. Your estate includes your assets – what you own – and your liabilities – what you owe.
Why a will is a good idea
In Canada, laws regarding estates are determined by provinces and territories. While you’re not legally required to have a will, without one the laws in your province or territory will decide how your estate is divided.
In Ontario, if you die without a will, your estate is affected in key ways, including:
- Who can or should apply for probate.
- Who will be responsible for administering your estate.
- Who will inherit what.
Even if your family and financial situation is fairly straightforward, having a will enables you to decide exactly how your estate will be distributed. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee your wishes will be carried out.
Your estate representative
An estate representative is sometimes called an executor, an estate trustee or a liquidator. Whatever the term, you will need one to deal with your estate after your death. This individual will follow the instructions you left in your will.
You may name anyone as your estate representative. It could be a person who is close to you, such as a family member or friend. It could also be a financial or legal professional. In fact, you can name more than one person to help with this. Whomever you choose, it’s a good idea to talk to your estate representative(s) to make sure they’re comfortable with their responsibilities.
We provide the legal advice you need
Avoid poor planning. We can provide the legal assistance you need to prepare your will, and spare your loved ones of needless pain and cost.
In most cases, it is quite straightforward, but your will needs to conform to legal guidelines in order to you make sure your documents are prepared and witnessed properly.
We’ll explain the laws in Ontario that deal with wills and the issues you need to know about in order to make informed decisions. We’ll help you properly list your assets, document your wishes, decide who your estate representative(s) will be, and how to manage your discussion with them about their responsibilities. We’ll help you to minimize any potential tax implications of your estate, leaving more for your loved ones.
We’ll review your will with you periodically in order to keep it up to date regarding your current wishes and the state of your finances.
We happily provide all of these services at a reasonable cost. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.