Toronto Wills and Estates Lawyer (Part 1): What is a Will?

Michael CarabashPlease 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 a Will, 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 prepare and draft a Will.

In this blog, I’ll be discussing what a Will is.

When you die, you may be leaving behind valuable assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, and personal possessions. Taken together, these assets are referred to as your “estate”. A Will is a legal document which declares your final wishes concerning the disposal of your assets after you die. According to section 1(1) of the Succession Law Reform Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. S.26, a Will also includes a “Codicil”, which is a document that cancels certain parts of your Will or adds new parts to it and which must be read together with your Will as one document. A person who makes and signs a valid Will is referred to as a Testator (for a man) or Testatrix (for a woman).

A Will identifies who will responsible for administering your final wishes. While this individual is commonly referred to as an “Estate Trustee”, “Administrator”, “Executor”, “Personal Representative” or “Liquidator”. He or she will pay out liabilities, manage remaining assets, and distribute the remaining funds of the estate (the “residue”) to the beneficiaries designated under the Will. A Will may also identify Guardians in the case of minor or incapable dependents left behind.

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