Frequently Asked Questions About Wills and Estates

Many of our clients come to us with questions about Wills and Estates. These are a few of the most commonly asked:

  1. Do I really need a Will?
    Having a Will is part of protecting your family from unnecessary uncertainty and disruption at the time of your death. Without a Will, you will not have a say in what will happen to your property or to vulnerable family members such as minor children and disabled adults. The distribution of your Estate would be only to your heirs at law.
    Without a Will, your family will need to apply to Court to name an Estate Trustee. It will take far longer for your family to settle your affairs, probably be more costly, and your property will only be divided according to Ontario Estate Law, which may have some surprising aspects.
  2. Do I need to make a Will if I am separated?
    Yes. Separation or divorce does not revoke an existing Will. Your former partner will inherit from your existing Will made while married. If you do not have a Will at all, then your former spouse will be entitled to a share of your Estate.
  3. Do I need to make a new Will if I get married?
    Yes. Marriage revokes any existing Will, unless your Will specifically states it was made in contemplation of your marriage. Otherwise your marriage revokes your Will.
  4. Can I write my own Will?
    Legally, yes. However, even a hand-written holograph Will must meet certain requirements in order for it to be valid. A Will drafted by a Lawyer is far more likely to be clear and easy for your loved ones to understand, as well as covering every necessary detail to achieve the objectives in your Will. It is also far less likely to be challenged by your beneficiaries or other people. Our Estate Litigators have a great deal of experience trying to repair the damage done to the families by improperly drafted Wills.
    A Lawyer can also provide you with advice to assist you in reducing the amount of taxes your Estate may have to pay.
  5. What if my beneficiaries don't like my Will?
    Your beneficiaries may challenge your Will in Court. This can become very expensive and destructive for everyone involved, and cause irreparable emotional and financial harm to them while they are grieving your loss. It is always better to anticipate possible disputes and try to prevent them through comprehensive Estate planning that includes a professionally drafted Will.

Contact Creighton Law LLP

Let us answer your questions about Wills and Estate Planning in Oshawa and throughout the Durham Region. Contact us at 1-800-216-4970 or through our online form.