So, What Happens If You Die Without a Will?
If you pass away without a will, you may lose control over what happens after your death. Your estate may incur far greater costs than the initial expense of making a will. The administration of the estate can be delayed as it may take several months until the court appoints someone to administer your estate. A well-drafted will helps offer you peace of mind in that your estate will be settled according to your specified wishes, and that your loved ones are protected.
The assets and liabilities in your possession when you pass away make up what is known as your estate. While you are not required to have a will by law, there are numerous advantages and legal protections that having one affords you. If you pass away without a will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act.
Generally speaking, in accordance with this Act, when a person dies without a will the people who are entitled to inherit their estate include their spouse and closest next-of-kin. A common law spouse may not make any claims under the Succession Law Reform Act.
If you have a will, you decide who your Executor will be and who receives your estate. You can distribute your personal items as you wish, such as furniture, paintings, cars, etc. You may choose to leave your entire estate to your spouse, even if you have children. If you are not married, you can leave any part of your estate to your common law spouse who would not otherwise be entitled to share in your estate if you were to die without a will.
An Online Will is not enough on its own
Over the last decade, the popularity of online will services has been increasingly more prominent. While online wills are accessible to more people, they are not necessarily your best option.
For your wishes and assets to be finalized the way you directly intended, you need to enlist the help of a trusted wills lawyer that can appropriately guide you through the stages of drafting your will. Professional legal assistance is an essential decision in ensuring that your assets will be distributed properly, while an online will does not afford the same guarantee or thoroughness.
Ensure your property, assets, and valuables are carried out according to your wishes and trust our experienced legal team to assist you in creating your legal document. Without a will, decisions will be based on applicable laws, and very likely contrary to your wishesThe benefits of a by-the-books will are as follows:
– It ensures your possessions are distributed according to only your wishes
– It takes the burden off of your family when you die by eliminating logistical concerns
– Offers parents concrete, legal control over deciding how children under 18 will be looked after and cared for
– Streamlines the process of including beneficiaries who may be outside of the family
Are Online Wills Even Legal?
Yes, they are.
There are a few limited circumstances in which online will kits are appropriate. For example, if a person has modest assets in their name alone, and desires to leave them to their closest surviving relative, it may be appropriate and cost-effective to use an online service. However, for individuals with even slightly more complicated circumstances, drafting a will online creates risk in an area that can potentially have lasting consequences.
Some online kits offer the option to store information about your assets online; however, they are not recommended as they hold personal legal information that can be compromised by malicious actors. This is an especially relevant concern in a digital age defined by cyber attacks and digital crime.
Does a Will Override a Power of Attorney?
No, but a Power of Attorney (POA) can have a great influence on the last will before the person passes away. A POA is no longer valid after the person is deceased, leading to the personal representative appointed in their will to take control of their property and appropriately divide their belongings through clear instructions found in the will.
If there is no will, the proper jurisdiction distributes the deceased person’s property according to a legislated set of rules. The importance of a valid will is fundamental to proper distribution of their property and ownership, as their wishes cannot be appropriately processed if they have not been expressed properly in a legal way.
Don’t Leave Your Assets Up To Chance
Protect your assets and ensure that your heirs and executors are given their share without lengthy legal debates.
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.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; It is intended for general informational purposes only. Consult with an attorney to obtain a advice with respect to any particular legal matter.
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