What Is A Will?

A will or is a legal document by which a person, names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his or her property upon death.


Why Do I Need A Will?

Every adult who owns assets or has a spouse or young children should have a will. Having a will, allows you to control who will receive the assets within your estate. In addition, a will provides you the opportunity to appoint the guardian of your choice for any young children you have. Those without a will (intestate) leave their loved ones having to apply to the court to administer an estate, this process is actually more time consuming and expensive than having a valid will.


Who Takes Control Of Your Estate If I Die Without A Will?

In a will, you can name an executor to manage your estate when you die, for example the executor can be a relative, friend or other trusted person. However, if you die without a will, someone must be appointed by the court to manage your estate. This person is called an administrator. The court will also appoint a guardian if you have children under 19 without a living parent.


Why Is It Important To Have A Notary Draft Your Will?

It is strongly recommended that you have your will professionally prepared, as a will is a binding legal document. To make an effective will requires a good understanding of the Property Law Act, the Land Title Act and the Wills Estates and Successions Act. An understanding of the applicable law and formalities governing how a will is made, no matter how simple the will, will assist you in preparing a will that is appropriate for your assets and family situation. Also, an understanding of applicable laws and formalities can avoid potential for the will to lack clarity leading to potential extra legal costs taken from your estate in an effort to gain clarity through the court, which may or may not be entirely possible.


In A Will, You Name A Person Or Company To Be The Executor.
What Is That Person Responsible For?

The executor is responsible for:

• safeguarding the estate (for example, changing the house insurance if the house
is unoccupied or keeping any vehicle insured);
• Taking inventory of your assets;
• paying your debts (including taxes);
• dividing what remains of your estate among the people named in your will
to receive a share of your estate, known as the “beneficiaries”.


How Should You Choose An Executor?

Choose an executor you trust and who will likely be alive when you die. He or she may be a trusted family member or friend. For Example, you might appoint your spouse, or if you are both elderly, an adult child or children. It helps if the person you choose as executor is also organized, good at keeping records, and a good communicator. Most importantly, the person must be willing to take on the duties of executor.