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Wills and Powers of Attorney

Protecting Your Legacy

Intestacy – Dying without a will

What will happen if you die without a will?

If you die without a will, your survivors will have to get a court order to appoint an executor. The person applying to be the executor has to persuade the court why he or she should be the executor.

The other persons entitled to inherit must give their consent before the court will issue the order. To be eligible for such an order, the proposed executor usually must live in Ontario.

Building Your Will

If you have a will, it must spell out specifics about your situation.

For example, if you want someone out-of-province to be your executor, your will needs a clause exempting that person from having to post a bond. If this clause is forgotten, the executor may have to bring an expensive court appearance to dispense with the requirement to post a bond, or reduce the amount they’re required to post.

If you want a married child of yours to inherit and for that inheritance to be solely owned by your child, we have to spell it out.

All these things cost money and take time that will delay distribution of your legacy. Properly drawn up wills and powers of attorney are excellent value when you think about the time and money you and your loved ones will save.

A couple signing their wills

Your Pets and You

Chris also offers planning for people with animals.

Owners may want to have a cash envelope for urgent care, instructions for temporary guardianship. You may want a document that makes it clear that any temporary pet ownership is not intended to become permanent. You may also wish to authorize a trusted person to arrange and pay for care of the animals out of the estate during probate, which often lasts a year or more.

These considerations can be especially important for people who live alone and have animals.

A sad dog
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