People often avoid contemplating their own mortality and neglect to plan for the distribution of their assets when they die. Many put off to tomorrow planning that should be done today. Unfortunately, everyone will eventually pass away and often with considerable assets. In light of how our daily lives have changed as a result of COVID-19, we are receiving numerous requests from clients to review or draft comprehensive estate plans. This blog will discuss the top 5 reasons why you should consider having a Will prepared or updated.
Dying without a Will can be a costly process and cause unnecessary stress on your children and family.
- If you die without a Will and leave children (which we call “issue” in the law), your spouse may be left with having to share the estate with the children. In Ontario, a spouse is entitled to up to $200,000 of the estate. The remainder of the estate is split between the spouse and the children. Most of the time, this would not have been the intention of the testator had they written a Will before they died.
- You can name a person (or persons) as a Guardian for your minor children in your Will. If you die without a Will, the remaining family members may be left to decide who you would have wished to take on this responsibility without being able to consult with you for guidance. Most of the time, the testator would have wanted to make sure that adequate arrangements were made in advance for minor children.
- If you are not married but you are living with a common-law partner and die without a Will, these circumstances can leave your common-law partner with no property rights. Remember, the law is different for married spouses and common-law partners under the Family Law Act. In these circumstances, a Will is critical to ensure that your wishes and intentions are made clear.
- If you die without a Will, a government individual may be appointed as your personal representative to handle your estate. Alternatively, a family member would have to apply for a Certificate of Appointment of an Estate Trustee Without a Will, which is often more costly then the fees required to have a Will drafted.
- In many circumstances, you may benefit from tax planning and advanced estate planning services to minimize the probate tax that will be due for your assets upon your death. Dying without a Will may result in your estate having to pay taxes in excess of what you would have owed had you died with a full and comprehensive estate plan including a Will.
It can often cost more to administer an estate where there was no Will than an estate with a Will and proper estate plan. Therefore, estate planning is an important aspect of organizing your personal affairs that should not be ignored. Our team of highly skilled Kitchener estate planning lawyers recognizes that estate planning can be a very personal matter that requires unique personal attention to ensure that we implement a comprehensive estate plan that respects all of your wishes, while minimizing the potential for family disputes.
Comprehensive estate planning designed to meet your wishes and goals while protecting your legacy and reducing your estate’s probate tax is crucial.
Estate planning is the process of arranging your affairs to ensure that at your death your savings and assets will pass on to your beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes and without unnecessary tax consequences. This process can involve the drafting of Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, and general estate management. Whether you are just starting out in your career and require a basic Will and Powers of Attorney or you have considerable assets and require a more detailed estate plan, our Kitchener estate planning lawyers are ready to assist you in meeting your goals and protecting your legacy. We offer reasonable flat rate packages for many of our estate planning services and discounted rates for spouses who wish to create similar estate plans.
Aubrey Sherman, Sherman Law LLP
Aubrey Sherman is the managing partner at Sherman Law LLP in Kitchener, Ontario. His practice focuses on family law, estate planning, and estate administration. The team at Sherman Law LLP in Waterloo Region has over 40 years of experience providing clients with creative and innovative solutions. If you wish to learn more about Aubrey and how he can. help you with your family law or estate planning needs please click https://www.thedivorceangels.com/vendor/aubrey-j-sherman/