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Burke-Robertson LLP
441 MacLaren Street
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Ottawa, ON K2P 2H3

Phone: 613-706-0020
Toll free: 1-800-419-5581
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Why Wills are Important

When I am at parties or social gatherings I often start talking about the importance of Wills and Estate Planning (yes I am that person, although to be fair it usually comes up when other people ask me questions upon learning what I do for a living). Many people tell me when the subject comes up that they do not need a Will as they do not have any assets. Nothing can be farther from the truth on the other side of things when a person is deceased and they have not drafted a Will. It makes the administration of the Estate that much harder.

Intestacy - Dying without a Will:

I'll give you an example: I had a friend whose wife passed away. Although they were married, because she didn't have a will, her husband (my friend) was unable to access her bank accounts until he had applied for and received a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee without a Will (also known as probate) from the Court.Ontario does have legislation, the Succession Law Reform Act, confirming who receives the assets of your Estate if you don't have a Will, however the legislation does not require banking institutions to give you access to your loved ones' accounts if they did not execute a Will. There are also implications for children if you have not executed a Will but I will get into that in a later post. 

Why a lawyer is helpful:

So now you want to know, what are the reasons you should meet with a lawyer to prepare a Will and to discuss your Estate Planning, whether you think you have assets or not. Some of them include:
I. Your loved ones will know your wishes should something happen to you;
II. It makes the administration of your Estate much easier;
III. You can give specific gifts to specific people;
IV. You can confirm who you want to care for your children or specific assets should you pass away;
V. You can plan the administration of your estate instead of having someone else plan it for you.
Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact myself or any of the other lawyers in my office who practice in the areas of Wills and Estates.
For additional information, and access to some FAQs, please visit the Ministry of the Attorney General's Estates FAQ page.
Remember:Everyone's situation and experiences are unique. The blogs posted on this site are informational. They are not intended to be taken as legal advice for any particular situation. It is always a good idea to seek professional legal advice before making any decisions related to your particular case.
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