Wills and Estate Administration

What is a will and why do I need one?

A legal and valid will is the best way to ensure your wishes are followed. In its simplest form, a will is a written explanation of how you want your estate (what you own) distributed after your death. If you don’t have a will, your estate will be distributed according to what is known as the “law of succession” in your province, and this may not be in keeping with your wishes. You also need a will to specify guardians for minor children, otherwise, someone, such as a family member, will have to apply to the court to be appointed guardian.

Do I need a lawyer to have a valid will?

Technically, no. But if your will is not prepared by an experienced lawyer, there is a risk it will not properly reflect your wishes. It could also be invalid or open to challenge. For example, the problem with using a will kit to prepare a will is that a kit does not know the questions to ask to warn you of potential problems. In addition, they may not reflect Ontario law. Having a lawyer prepare this important legal document helps ensure your wishes are clearly and accurately reflected, reducing the risk of disputes among those who may have a claim against your estate.

“I first met Jennifer when my mom and I saw her to update my mother’s will and powers of attorney. She was very respectful and kind to my mom, speaking to her directly.

“After my mom died, I saw Jennifer regarding probate and the disposition of the will. I found her to be kind and empathetic.

“Jennifer was knowledgeable and helpful with regard to the above. Her services were done in a timely way and her cost estimate was accurate.

“I enjoyed working with her.”

Sandi H., client