“Estate” sounds like it might include mansions, yachts and private islands, but, in fact, it is the term for everything a person owns: cars, real estate, cash, bank accounts, investments, and even personal property. If you want to be sure that your hard-earned assets are transferred to your family members in the way that you choose, preserving as much of those assets as possible, you need an estate plan. This set of legal documents assures you and your loved ones that your wishes are clear and will be followed in the event that you cannot speak for yourself. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives are just some of the aspects of estate planning, and all require careful legal documentation according to the laws and regulations governing them. Our experienced lawyers can help you clarify your wishes and make sure that they are carried out. Call our office today at 905-597-8529.
Why is it Important to Have a Will?
If you die without a will, you have no control over who inherits your assets, or who administers their distribution. Without a will designating a trustee, a family member will have to apply to be appointed estate trustee. If there is a dispute about who the trustee should be, the matter will be referred to a judge, who will decide who is most appropriate to fill that role. Being the estate trustee is a large responsibility. With a will in place, you are able to designate the person you choose to handle your financial affairs after your passing. A lawyer from K&Y Law can help to ensure that all aspects of the law are carefully followed, thus ensuring that your wishes will be carried out, just as you specified.
Who Inherits My Estate if I Don’t Have a Will?
In Ontario, the Succession Law Reform Act and the Family Law Act govern the distribution of assets where there is not a will. There is a complicated formula that designates how the estate will be divided, based on the size of the estate and the family configuration of the deceased. Should the deceased have no family to receive the estate, the estate becomes the property of the government. Having a will allows you to control where your assets go, and who is responsible for dividing those assets. Without a will, your wishes are not a consideration. A lawyer from K&Y Law can help you make sure that your voice is heard.
Is Hiring a Lawyer Worth It?
The laws surrounding the division of assets without a will, trust, or other legal document in place are complicated. Hiring a lawyer who has training and experience with these laws and with estate planning can help to make sure that your wishes are honored, and that your family is not hit with complicated legal problems in a time of grieving. At K&Y, we bring expertise and compassion to the estate planning process. Call us today at 905-597-8529.