Wills and Estates form over a wooden table


A wills and estates plan is vital to ensuring your assets and legacy are honoured. Yet, most Canadians do not have a will in place. Perhaps that's because many do not know where to start. In this article, we look at some frequently asked questions to demystify these crucial legal instruments. 

Keep reading to learn what you need to know.


What Is the Difference Between a Will and an Estates Plan?

An estate plan is a comprehensive and coordinated plan that provides for the management and disposition of your assets during your lifetime and at death. A will is only one part of an estate plan and usually directs the distribution of your assets at death. An estate plan may also include trusts, gifts, life insurance, retirement plans, and other asset-protection devices.


What Happens to Canadians Who Die Without a Will?

In Canada, if you die without a will, your estate is distributed according to the laws of intestacy. This means that your assets will be distributed to your closest relatives, even if you would have preferred them to go to someone else. The distribution of your assets will also be subject to probate fees, which can be significant.

It helps to have a will. Even better, it helps to have a law firm that can guide you through the will preparation process, which is where Paquette Travers can prove to be an asset.


What Should Be Included in a Will?

You should review your will regularly and update it as needed to ensure that it continues to reflect your wishes, especially as beneficiaries are concerned. You may also want to consider setting up a trust, which can provide additional benefits such as asset protection.


What Is the Difference Between an Executor and a Power of Attorney?

Again, an executor is a person who manages your estate plan. A power of attorney, on the other hand, is a legal document in which you designate someone else the authority to make decisions on your behalf, both financial and health related.


How Can Canadians Have Their Wills Legally Recognized?

A will does not need to be complicated or lengthy. However, it must be properly signed and witnessed to be valid. Some services offer "Do It Yourself" wills and estate planning, but these can be problematic. It's always best to seek out the advice of a qualified lawyer to ensure that your will is valid and reflects your wishes.


Get Your Wills and Estates in Order

Each moment without a will moves you closer to an unreliable outcome. Don't let time run out before making your wishes known and finalized. At Paquette Travers, we can help you create a complete will that is legally binding. We'll work with you to understand your unique situation and ensure that all of your assets are protected.



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