Please note that the information provided herein is not legal advice and is provided for informational and educational purposes only. If you need legal advice with respect to Wills and Estates matters, you should seek professional assistance (e.g. make a post on Dynamic Legal Forms). We have Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Brampton, Mississauga and other Ontario lawyers registered to help you.
This is the fourth of a series of MANY blog posts about Wills in Ontario. Be sure to check them all out! Here, I’ll be discussing what you should think about when preparing your Will.
How do I prepare to have my Will drafted?
To prepare to have your Will drafted, you should gather some important and relevant personal and financial information. This information, which can be provided in the form of a checklist, will help the drafter tailor your Will to meet your needs. Having this information conveniently available alongside the Will can also benefit your trustee and beneficiaries, who won’t have to be looking for hidden or hard to find assets and liabilities after you die. The following basic information should be included in the checklist:
- Personal Information: name, address, date of birth, marital status (past and present), residency, previous Will, marriage contract, etc.;
- Family and Dependent Information: names, addresses, dates of birth of spouse(s), children, and dependents, etc.;
- Professional Advisors: names and addresses of lawyer, accountant, investment advisor, life insurance agent, etc.;
- Income Information: amount of annual income from all sources (e.g. employment, business, rent, royalties, etc.);
- Assets: bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, real estate, life insurance, annuities, RRSPs, RRIFs, pensions, investments, business interests, debts owing from third parties, cars, boats, machinery/tools/equipment, household goods and furniture, etc.; and
- Liabilities: mortgages, loans, credit card balances, etc.
Once these details have been gathered, the next step is for you to outline the instructions for your Will. To start, the following questions will need to be answered with respect to disposing of personal effects and the residue of your estate:
- Who do you wish to be your Estate Trustee?
- How do you want your personal property and real property to be gifted?
- How do you want the residue of the estate to be dealt with?
- Would you like to create a spousal trust, whereby your surviving spouse can live off the income generated by the residue of your estate until he or she passes away, in which case, the residue is distributed among the beneficiaries (e.g. the children?)?
- Who do you wish to be the Custodian of your minor children and Guardian of their property?
- What kinds of powers do you want your estate trustee to have with respect to you personal effects (e.g. power to sell, power to invest, power to distribute proceeds, power to loan funds to beneficiaries or others, power to take reasonable compensation from the residue of the estate, etc.) and assets?
- Do you want to have special clauses dealing with minors (e.g. property relating to minors, a trust relating to minors, guardians of minor’s property, etc.)?
- What kind of funeral do you want to have?
- Do you wish to donate your organs?
- How are disputes to be handled (e.g. arbitration, mediation, court, etc.)?
These and other questions will need to be answered before your Will can be properly drafted.
By the way, if you need a Will and want to leave everything to your surviving spouse, you’ve come to the right place:
This legal form can be used by a Testator or Testatrix (i.e. a person who is making a Will) to appoint an Estate Trustee to manage their final wishes, transfer the residue of their estate (i.e. their leftover assets after debts have been paid off) to their surviving spouse, and appoint a guardian / custodian for their minor children. This Last Will and Testament also comes with affidavits for witnesses to swear / affirm (great for probate!). Best of all, this Last Will and Testament comes with a FREE VIDEO GUIDE (watch a useful example of how this legal form can be customized), a FREE DL GUIDE (read helpful information about this legal form), and another FREE DL GUIDE that offers valuable insight into how contracts can be challenged) What are you waiting for? Go to Dynamic Legal Forms. And if you DO need a lawyer and need some legal advice, simply make a post and get FREE quotes from Ontario lawyers focusing on the area of law you require!
This information and this sample video guide is NOT legal advice and is provided for informational purposes only. If you need an Ontario lawyer, go to Dynamic Legal Forms and make a post.