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Less Than half of Canadian Adults have a Will

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According to a survey conducted by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Co, the majority of Canadian adults don’t have a Will, which can be more problematic than you think. 

If you die without a Will, you are considered to have died ‘intestate’ which enables the government to decide how your estate will be settled.  These rules may result in the distribution of assets to certain family members that you might not have intended to benefit.

 

ONTARIO INTESTACY RULES

Surviving spouse, no children

 

100% of the estate goes to the spouse.

Surviving spouse, one child

                     

Spouse receives preferential share of the estate plus half of the residue of the estate; the other half goes to the child.

Surviving spouse, more than one child

Spouse receives preferential share of the estate plus one-third of the residue; the children share the remaining two-thirds.

No spouse, one or more surviving children

The children share the estate equally.

No spouse, no children, surviving parents

The deceased parents get 100% of the estate.

No spouse, no children, no surviving parents

All living brothers or sisters of the deceased share the estate equally.  If no brother or sister is living, all nieces or nephews share the estate equally.

No living blood relatives

Estate goes to the provincial government.

 

To ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes, have a Will prepared and keep it current.

The basics

A Will names an executor and back up executor who will settle the deceased financial affairs.  Depending on financial circumstances and family dynamics, a corporate trustee can be named rather than an individual.

Care should be taken when selecting an executor.  They should be willing and able to do the job when the time comes, be able to deal with family members fairly & objectively, and know enough about the testator’s financial affairs & instructions in the Will to make informed decisions.  If trusts are involved, they may have to act as executor for several years.

A Will also includes the deceased’s instructions on how assets are to be distributed after death.  Only assets that flow into the estate are covered by the Will, however all assets need to be considered so that the estate produces the desired results.

It is possible to write your own Will, known as a Holographic Will (must be in the hand writing of the testator), or to use a pre-printed form generated by computer software and signed in front of two witnesses.  However, I recommend having a formal Will prepared by a lawyer.  It is money well spent to ensure your wishes are executed properly.

Will preparation forms part of our Financial Planning process.  

Contact me by clicking this link Brad Mol, to get your free copy of our ‘All in One Place Financial Guide’.

 

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