- Single Wills
- Multiple Wills (for probate, domestic and foreign planning objectives)
- Mutual Wills and mutual Will agreements
Note: Wills are a part of the estate planning process and should not be prepared without consideration of related issues such as beneficiary designations and contractual rights or obligations.
Wills are type of document that let you control how your estate is managed and distributed after you pass away. In Ontario, if you do not have a valid, the law dictates what will happen when you die which may not be what you want.
It's a myth that the government gets everything or takes control of your estate if you do not have a Will. However, this does not mean you should not have a Will even if your estate is relatively small. Without a Will, there almost always needs to be a probate application to have an estate trustee (formerly "executor") appointed. Also, if there are amounts or assets intended for minors, it will have to be paid into court to be managed unless the minor's parent(s) apply to court to be appointed guardian of property as this is not an automatic right. The balance of the funds will be paid out when the minor reaches the age of majority which is 18 in Ontario. There is no option for it to be held longer.
Wills can contain trusts to hold property for minors and pay it to them at an appropriate age. There are many other things Wills can do like appoint an executor and guardians for minor children; set up trusts for spouses or people with special needs; provide for elderly parents; make charitable gifts. There are tax planning opportunities as well. You can also specify a range of administrative provisions to ensure your estate is administered as effectively as possible and according to your wishes.
Approximately 50% of Ontario adults do not have a Will. This can create a variety of problems as well as leading to delays and additional expense.