Last will and testament form on a desk with more documents and a key, pen, and money on top of the form


Did you know that 56 percent of Canadian adults don't have a will? Many people in the Waterloo area think they can't afford to have a will made or don't know where to begin. Failing to have your estate and will in place will be problematic for your loved ones when you pass away. Partnering with an experienced lawyer will ensure the process of creating wills in Ontario goes seamlessly. This article will explain how estate planning and wills work in the area so that you may begin making plans for your future.


What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning means making a plan about how your property and assets are to be dealt with when you pass away. You take certain steps to ensure your wishes are carried out as easily as possible during the process.

In addition to creating a will, you should consider the following items when planning your estate:

  • Detailing instructions for your financial and health affairs and care if you become incapacitated. This is called your Power of Attorney for Property and Personal Care
  • Instructions for transferring your business at your time of death
  • Minimizing unnecessary taxes, legal fees, and court costs when distributing your assets

Planning for the future is a continual process, not something you do once. You should evaluate and update your estate plan as your financial and family circumstances change.


What's a Last Will and Testament?

The legal document that states your wishes when you pass away is called a last will and testament. The document is a roadmap for your loved ones and family to follow in the event of your death.

In your will, you can outline the following:

  • How you'd like to distribute your money (taxes or other debts to be paid), property, and sentimental items (known as your estate)
  • Name guardians for your dependents

There are many requirements that you have to follow to make your will legally binding in Ontario, such as signing a will in front of two valid witnesses. It is highly recommended to work with a Will Attorney like Paquette Travers in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph or Milton, to avoid making any errors when creating your will.


Common Issues If You Don't Have a Will

There are some situations where you may not necessarily require a will. For example, say you want to leave everything to your partner, and you don't have any children. In the event of your death, your partner will inherit your estate.

If you're not married or in a common-law relationship, your partner won't automatically inherit your estate. Failing to have a will can result in serious complications when you pass away. If you have children but don't have a will, your estate might not get divided how you'd want it to be. Differences and arguments can start between your children. Having a will helps avoid these issues when you pass away.


Partner with a Qualified Wills and Estates Attorney in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph or Milton

Wills and estates can be complicated. There are many legal requirements and things to consider. That's why working with an experienced legal team is essential. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our wills and estates attorneys.



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