WHAT IS A WILL?
A legal document that gives instructions about how the will-maker's estate should be overseen and distributed to beneficiaries after their death.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE WITHOUT A WILL?
You will be considered dying intestate and your estate will pass to your spouse. If you have a spouse and children, your spouse will get the first $300,000 of your estate and half of what’s left over. The other half will be divided equally among your children. If you have no spouse or children, your estate will be distributed to descendants, parents, or other relatives. Furthermore, someone may need to apply to the court to become the administrator of your estate.
WHAT IS AN EXECUTOR?
This is the person you name to carry out the instructions in your Will. They are responsible for locating all of your property, paying any debts and funeral costs, filing the final tax return, and distributing your estate as the Will directs. Your executor may need to probate your Will which is a legal process to confirm the Will is legally valid.
WHO CAN PREPARE A WILL?
The will-maker must be 16 years of age or over, be mentally capable, and freely agree with what the Will says when they sign it.
What are the main elements of a Will:
- Appointing an executor and alternate executor
- Appointing a guardian and alternate guardian if you have minor children
- Distribution of the residue of your estate after debts and taxes are paid
CAN I REGISTER MY WILL?
You can file a will notice with the provincial Wills registry if you choose, but this will only let others know when the Will was prepared and where the original copy of the Will is located.
Contact us if you have other related will questions.