If you are an executor of an estate, an estate lawyer can help you avoid personal liabilities through will interpretation. This means that the lawyer can help you understand the specific language in the will and how it pertains to your role as executor. In some cases, the lawyer may be able to negotiate on your behalf with other beneficiaries or heirs to the estate. This can help you avoid any potential personal liabilities that may come with the role of executor.
It is of the highest importance that you fully comprehend all aspects of the will and make the appropriate decisions when the time comes. An experienced will interpretation lawyer, like Matthias Duensing, can assist you in dealing with the necessary logistics to carry out the stipulation of the will.
Any ambiguity or uncertainty in the intentions of a will can lead to larger consequences if not addressed properly. Matthias Duensing can provide you with prudent legal advice and help you navigate through your responsibilities if you have been appointed executor, are currently a beneficiary or are in the process of creating your will.
In addition to will interpretation, an estate lawyer can also assist the financial dependents, like a spouse or child of the will-maker, in bringing a claim against an estate if they have not been sufficiently provided for. Due to the complications of the provisions entailed in the will-maker’s will, Mr. Duensing can also assist in representing the beneficiaries involved and ensuring that the estate is administered properly.
What is the importance of a will interpretation?
A will’s contents may be unclear as a result of poor drafting or a circumstantial change following the execution of the will that was not addressed initially. A will interpretation conducted in Ontario will have to be filed under rule 14.03 of the Rules of the Civil Procedure. If there is any disagreement between any beneficiaries and executors about the stipulations of the will, the division of the estate may be compromised. It is of utmost importance to seek out an estate lawyer that can provide you with the right and objective information to ensure that all parties are satisfied and that the will is carried out according to the will-maker’s wishes.
Although the formalities of executing and following the contents of the will are strict, the principles applied in the will-maker’s intentions are more open for interpretation; therefore the will-maker’s words are essential.
Protect your beneficiaries with professional will interpretation
The Ontario courts perceive the will as a legal document and give the effect to the intention as it appears. Utilizing the correct documents and jargon can help the beneficiaries not to run into consequences that have nothing to do with what the will-maker had hoped for.
For example, the will-maker might include their son to ‘manage’ the property, while that specific wording can be misinterpreted as only ‘managing’ the physical property and not all other factors involved that may include paying monthly energy bills or maximizing the use of available space to use as storage. Working with a lawyer, you can rest easy in the confidence of having a clear concise will, one that is accepted for probate by the Estate Office of the Ontario Superior Court. The lawyer also serves the added benefit of acting as a witness who does not benefit from your will – something that is necessary for a will to be legally recognized.
If there are any phrases or words missing, it will be implied that the intention of the will-maker will be included, and the Court will interpret them into the will. Some provisions in the will are going to hold more than one meaning, as some words may have a general meaning in one term, but in the context of more specific language, it may be interpreted in another way. Understanding the direction of a will is crucial in protecting the beneficiaries and avoiding any costly personal liability.
Ensure that your executors understand all the provisions of your will
If you are currently a fiduciary or have been appointed an executor of a will, the responsibility may seem like a difficult endeavour, especially if you have a strong personal attachment to the will-maker. Ensuring that all provision of a will requires expert family law and probate knowledge, so it is in everyone’s best interest to not leave any wording up to interpretation.
We can provide you with a personalized approach at an affordable cost to grant you peace of mind regarding your assets and properties.
If you are interested in learning more about how an estate lawyer can help you – contact us for a complimentary consultation as we can help you create a will that mirrors your wishes. To schedule an appointment or contact us for a consultation, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at (416) 601-4769.