By: Sabrina Rosa
November is a ‘Make a will month’ in Canada. This month is such an important one to raise awareness about how significant it is to have a will in place is. According to a survey taken by the Ontario Bar Association (OBA), 62% of Canadian adults still do not have a will, which is a staggering figure!
A will is a legal document which allows you to allocate your estate between loved ones when you have passed away. In Canada, you do not need a lawyer necessarily to make your will, however it is recommended especially if your finances are complex. You will need two witness’ as well as yourself to sign the will in order for it to be valid. You may also update your will as your interests and circumstances change.
In your will, choosing a testator can be anyone you choose and trust, and they will be responsible for distributing that estate on your behalf. You may also choose more than one person to handle your estate. You would then have a control over where your assets go, or do not go. If a person passes away without a valid will, this would be called intestacy.
What is Intestacy?
Intestacy occurs when a person does not make a will before they pass away. The Ontario Succession Law Reform Act governs how this person’s estate will be distributed. Usually in these cases, the spouse, or next-of-kin, will receive the estate. However, common law spouses are unable to inherit estates. If there is no family for the deceased, the estate may go to the state.
Leaving your family in the position where you are intestate is highly challenging . By having a will, intestacy can be avoided, and assets will go to the people you have specified. Having a will, allows for a simplified process for your family as well.
Canada Will Registry
You may also register your will on the Canada Will Registry. The Canada Will Registry is a databank of registered wills all over Canada and may assist your loved ones in finding a will once you are gone. Once an individual passes away, you may search the Canada Will Registry to see if the will was registered using a simple search. Once the search is completed, if there is a match found, you will be notified within a certain time frame. A search certificate will also be sent to you to confirm that you actively looked for the will. To learn more, visit the Canada Will Registry.
November is ‘Make a will month’ for many provinces including Alberta, BC, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. This is a great time for people to get educated about wills, and potentially getting your own done.
Don’t be part of the statistic. Take time this month as an opportunity to speak to a lawyer and get your will done. If you need your will done, Legal Direct may assist you. You may reach out to 905 787 2296 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.