Wills are a necessity in many more cases than the average person would like to realize. The excuses of being young or not having enough of an estate as to warrant a concern are, unfortunately, not valid arguments for the absence of a will. Making and maintaining an updated will is necessary for many reasons.
- Those who pass away without wills allow the government to distribute their estates simply according to local laws. Many assume that the closest living relative receives everything, but this is often not the case. In any complicated family situation, especially where a previous marriage has existed, wills may be contested and the settling of the estate may turn out far different than was intended.
- Wills ensure that your spouse or another designated individual receives your estate as you intended. In some cases, the living spouse of someone who has died without a will is only entitled to half of the inheritance when children of the deceased also live. If these children are minors, a guardian for the property inherited by the children must be appointed, and laws often restrict that the surviving spouse from acting as the guardian.
- Who the guardian of a minor’s estate shall be is also a matter that can be settled by a will. However, many choose to avoid appointing an estate guardian altogether, instead simply stating in the will what should be done with the estate until the minor turns 18 and is legally able to inherit.
- Wills also function to determine who the guardian of young children will be. If the deceased was the sole guardian of the children and did not indicate in a legal will who should be responsible for the children, the decision may again be left to the government.
- The manner in which your estate assets are distributed may greatly affect any taxes and/or fees applicable to them during this process. For this reason, it is not only important to make and maintain a will, but also to consult with an attorney who has sufficient experience in the field.
If you are in need of a will in Toronto ON or would simply like more information, feel free to contact us at Grinhaus Law Firm. We offer legal services such as wills, trusts, tax reduction, incorporation, and more. Give us a call today for a free consultation.