Welcome to our Information Hub
Learn about your Will, Estate Planning in Canada and some of the important information and questions surrounding them.
Why should I protect my legacy with a Will?
A Will gives you premeditated control over your estate and affairs at the time of passing.
With a Legacy Will kit you can:
Determine how property is distributed
Distribute provisions to specific people, organization or charities
Appoint someone of your choosing to administer your estate
Appoint a guardian of your choosing for children/ minors in your care
If you do not have a will prepared at the time of passing, all of the aforementioned points will be administered through the courts. You will forfeit your right to choose how your legacy, all that you have worked towards and built for yourself and family/friends/organizations; is distributed among those you love and care for. If you have no surviving relatives, the government will absorb all of your assets and the opportunity to distribute among friends or charities will also be forfeit. Exercise your right to make the choices surrounding your affairs.
When can I create my Will?
If you are of "sound mind" and over the age of majority (18) you can have a will drafted and notarized. Even though you may be younger, wills can be updated and provisions added or removed at any time with Legacy Wills. So even if your legacy is just being built, it is never to early to consider a will.
How do I know when I should update my Will?
Being familiar with your will is important to ensure you have the proper details included. In the event of major life milestones, or even for codicils (minor changes), it is recommended to update your will to include the changes whenever applicable.
Such events may include marriage/divorce, children, adoptions, acquisition of any capital/property, updating family members and ensuring your executor is is still living and also of sound mind to perform the duties required.
What does executor represent?
Your appointed executor or representative will be the individual that carries out your terms stipulated in your will. This individual will also pay any debts on your behalf at the time of passing. Your executor can be one of your beneficiaries and it is often recommended by our team as this is a clear indicator that they close to you, and have a good understanding of how you would like your matters dealt with.
What does a beneficiary represent?
A beneficiary is a party who is receiving a gift from the testator. Beneficiaries can be people or organizations. Beneficiaries can also be devisees' in the event they are to receive any real estate.
What does a testator represent?
A testator is the individual who creates their will.
Can life partners make Mirror Wills?
Mirror wills are used to allow two people to create almost identical wills which leave everything to each other. Life partners can make "Mirror" Wills by each writing a Will that leaves everything to the remaining partner. Often, there is a clause that provides that if the husband and wife die at the same time or within thirty days of each other, then everything goes to the couples' children or if there are no children, to a named beneficiary.
How does a divorce affect my Will ?
A divorce in most instances can void your Will as it stipulates marriage specifically. Contact us to make any changes if needed.
How is my step-child considered in my Will?
If you want to leave something to your stepchildren, you must name them as beneficiaries in your Will as they are not living heirs of you.
Do I have to list all my children?
You must list ALL of your children. If not names your Will can be contested and voided. In the event where you choose to disinherit one or more of your children, you must do so by naming and disinheriting that child specifically in your will.
How and what do I sign?
To properly execute your Will, you will have to be present with your chosen witnesses. You will have to identify to them that this document is your Last Will and Testament. You will then initial each page of the document at the bottom of the page, below all the text, except the signing page of your Will, which requires your full signature. To be valid, you must sign the final (signing) page with your usual check-signing signature. No text should appear on the last page after your signature – other than the witness signing area. Signing and initialing of the pages must occur in the presence of your witnesses. We always recommend your witnesses should not be any person to whom you leave property, nor the spouse of any person to whom you have left property to avoid opportunity to contest your will based on duress.
Can my executor witness my Will?
Yes, but only if the executor is not a beneficiary in your Will.
The best approach is to use a self-proving Last Will.
What is a "Self-proving Affidavit of Execution"?
A Self-proving Affidavit of Execution is a document that attests to the fact that your Will has been properly executed. The Affidavit must be signed by you and your witnesses in front of a Notary Public. Probating a Will is less expensive if the witnesses do not have to testify in court. By having the witnesses to your Will join you in appearing before a Notary Public and signing this Affidavit under oath, you can waive the requirement for one or more of your witnesses to appear later before a probate court to acknowledge proper execution of your Will. This is helpful if one of your witnesses dies before you or is not available to appear at probate court.
If you did not prepare a self-proving Will, your Will is still valid, but where a witness has died or is no longer available to attest to their own signature, the probate court will have to affirm the signature of your witness in some other way, perhaps the signature on an old bank account.
Do I have to file my Will?
You do not have to file your Will with any court system or government body. However, you should store your Will in a safe place where your executor or personal representative will be able to locate it.