Wills and Estates in Ontario

Deliscar Professional Corporation offers wills and estate services to clients throughout Ontario including Brampton, Guelph, Orangeville and Toronto.

Wills and Estates Law in General

wills-estates

What is a Will?
What is an Estate?
What is a Power of Attorney?

What is a Will? – “A person’s will is a written document that sets out the person’s wishes about how his or her estate should be taken care of and distributed after death. It takes effect when the person dies.”~Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, Province of Ontario

Estates Law: the law dealing with the assets of deceased persons

Power of Attorney: document permitting person to take over another person’s financial affairs and health care issues in the event of incapacity

Why Do I Need a Will?
A Will allows you to determine who will receive your estate on your death
A Will is one way of limiting estate taxation
A Will permits you to determine who will care for your minor children upon your untimely death

Power of Attorney :  a Power of attorney is a legal document, often referred to as a “POA”, that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf.

There are three main types of power of attorney in Ontario:

1. Power of Attorney for Personal Care:
“A power of attorney that covers your personal decisions, such as housing and health care.” ~Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee, Province of Ontario

2. Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
“A power of attorney that covers your financial affairs and allows the person you name to act for you even if you become mentally incapable.
~Office the Public Guardian and Trustee, Province of Ontario

3. Special Power of Attorney – limited power of attorney granted for specific time-limited activities

What Your Lawyer Needs to Know in Order to Make Your Will

  • Full name, address, occupation, telephone number, date and place of birth, marital status, citizenship, divorces
  • Date of any separation, marriage, or cohabitation
  • The full names of your intended beneficiaries
  • If any of your intended beneficiaries have a disability – this requires a special provision in the Will (Henson Trust) so that government disability benefits will not be affected by the gift

You Can Leave Your Estate To Any Person(s) or Entities, Including:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Brothers/Sisters
  • Father/Mother
  • Friends
  • Charitable Organizations

Changing Your Will

The following is a non-exhaustive list of times when a Will should be changed:

  • Death or incapacity of Executors or guardians.
  • A desire to change Executors, beneficiaries, guardians, etc.
  • If you executed your Will at a time when you did not have children, a new Will should be completed after the birth of your first child.
  • Re-marriage revokes your entire Will and therefore on re-marriage a new Will should be completed.
  • Change of your name or the name of anyone mentioned in the Will.
  • Disposition of property specifically mentioned in the Will.

 

In general, your Will should be reviewed every five years with a Lawyer.

You can change your Will at any time. Once you execute a new Will, your previous Will is revoked

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?
1) Your estate will be distributed pursuant to the Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.S.26 which provides that if there is a surviving spouse, that spouse receives the first $200,000.00 of the deceased’s estate, and the remainder of the estate is shared between the surviving spouse and the deceased’s children.
2) There is no provision for other relatives, friends or organizations to receive funds.
3) Common law spouses receive nothing under an intestacy.
4) An Executor/Estate Trustee will have to be appointed through the court system, often with delays and unanticipated costs
5) There will be no documentation confirming your desires with regard to guardianship of your minor children
6) Family disputes are more likely to arise  between beneficiaries
What Happens If I Don’t Have a Will?
Remember:
Any asset with a named beneficiary, such as RRSPs and life insurance policies, or real estate property owned as joint tenants (which includes a right of survivorship) does not flow through your Estate, and thereby does not flow through your Will. The asset will go to the named beneficiary or the surviving joint tenants.

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care?

  • Your spouse, if you have one, would be the first to make the required health-related decisions, then your adult children.
  • Individuals who may not share your values and morals may possibly make decisions regarding your healthcare
  • If there is confusion as to who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf, there may be unnecessary delays and disputes among family members and/or friends
  • The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee would likely become involved.

What Happens If I Don’t Have a Continuing Power of Attorney for Property?

  • No one, not even your spouse, is allowed to access your personal financial information without your prior consent. As such, any financial transaction that requires your consent, such as selling real estate, making inquiries into bank and investment accounts, cannot be carried out without a court order appointing an Attorney for Property. The Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee would likely become involved.

Reasons People Give for Not Having a Will or Powers of Attorney
1)“It costs too much”.
2) “The government will take care of everything”.
3) “If I make a Will, I will die.”
4) “I don’t have all my finances/personal paperwork in order yet”.
5) “I’m afraid the lawyer will judge me”.
6) “I don’t want to cause division in my family”.

If you would like to speak with a wills and estate lawyer in Ontario (Brampton, Guelph, Orangeville or Toronto), please contact us now for a consultation.

Potential Clients ONLY: To book a free 30 minute initial phone consultation, click on the image below, and select the date and time for your consultation. You will receive an e-mail confirmation.  

Legal and Translation Services - Brampton, Guelph, Orangeville

SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION