What is a Will?
A Will is a document that is legally prepared to state your intentions about how your assets, wealth, and other belongings should be shared after your death. A Will allows you to name the person you trust to execute the Will and guardians for your children who are dependants. A Will is also known as a Last Will and Testament.
A Will also assures you that your loved ones will be properly taken care of as you highlighted and that your estate and properties will be shared as instructed. The Will will prevent your family from undergoing a time-consuming and tasking process to distribute your belongings.
What happens if you do not have a will in Ontario?
If you do not have a Will before your death in Ontario, the Provincial Laws will be followed to determine how your property will be shared. Courts are usually in charge of the distribution of the properties left by the deceased who failed to create a Will before death.
Unfortunately, the distribution by courts may not follow the wishes of the deceased, since they were not recorded before death. Meanwhile, Courts in Ontario follow the Succession Law Reform Act; that is you should visit a law firm and write your Will today.
If you are asking: “why do you need a will in Ontario?” here are what happens if you do not have a Will:
- If you are not married formally, the Common-law spouses do not inherit your assets automatically; their dependency must be proved to be entitled, irrespective of how long you lived together.
- Your closest relative will be appointed to administer the estate. However, your adult children are considered your closest relatives and not your Common-law spouse. Else, the court will appoint someone after an expensive court petition.
- If you are legally married, the court will give your spouse the first $200,000.00 and a portion more based on the number of children you have. In case you have no children, your entire estate will be handed over to your spouse. Other personal items shall be shared according to the law.
- All your properties will be valued for estate tax purposes before being given to the heirs.
- Any support you are providing to an elderly parent or grandchild may be discontinued by the court-appointed trustee, except the court-appointed Estate Trustee deems it fit to continue.
- The Charities you support will not be given any portion of your estate.
- Where there is no next-of-kin, all your estate will go to the Ontario government. The Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee will seize all the assets and administer your estate.
To avoid putting your loved ones through stress, contact a law firm near you in Ontario to write your Will today. If you are asking: “Why do you need a will in Ontario?” you can see the reasons above.