Having a lawyer prepare your Will is a very important step in providing for the well-being of your loved ones and in giving you peace of mind that your assets will be distributed in accordance with your wishes following your passing.
It is especially important to organize your estate following certain life events, including:
- Purchasing or selling a home or other large asset(s);
- Starting, purchasing, or selling a business;
- Getting married, divorced or remarried;
- Having children;
- When someone you have named in your Will has died or become incapacitated; and/or
- When it has been more than five years since you updated your Will.
There are many reasons that you should have a Will. Some of the main reasons are as follows:
- To shorten the probate process
- All estates in Ontario must go through the probate process. The executor or person wishing to be named as executor applies to the court to be formally appointed. Having a Will expedites this process;
- To choose your executor/estate trustee
- If you die without a Will, the court will appoint someone you may not have otherwise chosen to be the executor of your estate;
- To name a guardian for your minor
- If you die without a Will, leaving behind minor children, the court will choose a family member or provincially-appointed guardian to care for them;
- To detail how your estate will be
divided and distributed
- Having a Will can minimize family feuds by stating which of your loved ones will inherit something from you, what they will inherit and when. Some family members who you otherwise would not have chosen to inherit something, may inherit from you if you do not have a Will;
- To make specific gifts and charitable
- A Will allows you to plan for a specific items that have sentimental value for you and ensures that special items are given directly to the person of your choice who may share your passion or remember you by the keepsake;
- To create a Trust for your loved ones
- If you do not have a Will, your beneficiaries will automatically receive their inheritance at the age of 18 and not before then. In your Will, you may specify the ages at which funds are to be distributed and the percentage of the estate to be included in each distribution as well as the purpose for the distribution (i.e. education, health, etc.); and
- To specify your wishes regarding your
- A Will allows you to provide your loved ones with clear instructions regarding your wishes for burial, cremation, a funeral or otherwise.
Please contact us to make an appointment so that we can assist you with preparing a Will and Powers of Attorney. If you already have a Will, we can review it to ensure that it still reflects your current intentions. We can also assist you in carrying out your role as an executor or beneficiary of a loved one’s estate.