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Last Will and Testament

ESTATE PLANNING

WILLS

Having a will professionally prepared allows for the orderly disposition of your assets on death in the manner you direct. Your will can be structured to implement, as appropriate, tax savings and/or postponement of tax payable. Having a professionally prepared will reduces your level of stress should you become seriously ill as you have removed the pressure to then make a will. Reduction or elimination of potential disputes by persons having an interest in your estate can also be expected.


By not having a will you risk, for example: apportionment and delivery of your estate assets as directed by legislation, delivery of a child’s unused share of your estate at age 18 instead of at a more mature age; capital gains taxes being assessed against a child’s share instead of being postponed with proper planning; guardianship disputes, disputes by beneficiaries or interested parties as to naming estate trustee(s).


For self employed, salaried and retired persons with significant assets, tax structured, estate planning is recommended to consider recognized strategies, which if applicable to your situation, may result in tax savings on death. Savings include reduction of Ontario’s Estate Administration Tax (probate fee) and postponement of capital gains tax. Without a will, tax savings strategies may not be able to be implemented.


If your will is more than a few years old or if there has been a significant change in your personal situation, we can assist you to determine the necessity of a new will. Examples of material change are: having started a family, children having grown up, having started a successful business, marriage, separation/divorce, subsequent marriage.


We strongly recommend you make a will, if possible, when you are healthy. You never know if and when you could die from an accident, heart attack or stroke. You do not need the stress of making a will when you are facing the added stress of an operation or imminent death.

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Test Your Knowledge

These questions will assist you to understand the importance of planning for the orderly disposition of your assets on death in a manner using recognized tax efficient strategies applicable to your financial resources, your comfort level and your personal situation....Read More.


You Need to Know This

Significant changes to the enforcement and collection of tax pursuant to the Ontario Estate Administration Act have now been implemented...Read More.


Multiple Wills

In the year 2000, the use of multiple wills for estate planning in the Province of Ontario was accepted by the Province of Ontario following a court case in 1998 which sanctioned this practice....Read More.


The Joint Tenants Trap

Joint ownership of real estate and bank accounts has its benefits. The joint owner who survives automatically becomes the sole owner of that asset. Joint ownership, which is the most common means for spouses to record ownership of their principal residence, is recognized as a basic tool of estate planning...Read More.

POWERS OF ATTORNEY

Property

Should you become incapacitated all of your assets except for liquid joint assets, e.g. joint bank account are frozen and are administered at a charge to you by the Public Trustee of Ontario if you do not have a properly documented and executed power of attorney for property. Considerable stress, time expended, legal expenses, expenses by the Public Trustee over which a family member or friend has no control, as well as, charges by the Public Trustee for its services, can be expected before a family member or friend can regain control of your assets.


Personal Care

A personal care power of attorney is critical for your continued care in the event you are unable to understand the personal care questions then being asked or if there is uncertainty or potential conflict as to who is to speak on your behalf.


We will be pleased to assist you with the preparation of your will and powers of attorney. For this service, you can expect two appointments. During the first appointment, we discuss your financial and personal situation and your objectives with a view to taking instructions. The second appointment consists of reviewing the prepared documents with you and to witnessing their signing.

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