Wills & Estates

Wills and Estates

We know that you have been putting this task on the “back burner” for a while.  We get it – nobody wants to discuss or think of something so morbid like their death or incapacity. The good news is that making a will these days at Barrila Law is easier than ever, and if you have been putting it off for some time because it seems daunting, you could be making a big mistake.  The will is the most basic, and often the most important, estate planning document.  We work with our clients to help draft a will that is tailored to their needs and objectives.   Whether you just bought your first home, had your first child or are ready to retire, laying out an estate plan should be at the top of your to do list. Have a look below to see why we think you should get a will.

Important Reasons for Having a Will

  • (i) Rules of Intestacy

    If you pass without a Will, the law acts as a Will “gap filler” and creates a Will for you. Your estate will be distributed in accordance with the regime set out in the Succession Law Reform Act. This regime may not be consistent with your testamentary wishes, and may include beneficiaries that you would have otherwise excluded, or vice versa.

  • (ii) Effective Immediately

    A Will is effective immediately. The Executor and Trustee derive his or her authority to act from the Will, and on some occasions, there may not be a need to obtain a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with a Will. On the other hand, if you die without a Will, the Executor and Trustee appointed by the court may be forced to wait a year to distribute your estate (or longer) to ascertain the creditors of your estate.

  • (iii) Ability to Choose Executors/Beneficiaries

    When you have a Will you get to choose your Executor and Trustee (the person that manages your estate upon death) instead of the law or the court appointing one for you. Most importantly, when you have a Will, you get to decide how your estate is distributed – who (or which charitable organization) gets what and how much.

  • (iv) Tax and Probate Fee Planning

    A Will can be drafted in such a manner to reduce the estate administration taxes (formerly probate taxes) that your beneficiaries are required to pay when administering your estate. For example, shares in a private company or property in another jurisdiction can be disposed of through a separate Will. A Will can also be drafted so as to reduce the amount of capital gains taxes that are payable upon your death.

  • (v) Family Law Act Protection for Beneficiaries

    The Family Law Act (Ontario) allows you to make an election in your Will to protect property inherited by a married beneficiary from the beneficiary’s spouse upon separation/divorce or death.

Our wills and estates services includes:

  • Drafting wills

  • Drafting powers of attorney (care)

  • Drafting powers of attorney (management)

  • Administering estates with a will

  • Administering estates without a will

  • Survivorship applications