f you (a) own property or any other valuables, (b) have children, and/or (c) run a business, then a will is necessary for your estate plan.  A will is a written instrument that directs what happens to your assets upon death.  A person who gives directions on the will is known as a testator (in the case of a male) or testatrix (in the case of a female), whereas those who receive gifts/property under the will are known as beneficiaries.

There are two main types of wills: an attested will and a holograph will.  A holograph will has less onerous formal requirements than an attested will, and generally refers to a will that is written entirely by the hand of the testator without the need for a witness.  On the other hand, an attested will is signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses (please note that certain individuals, like beneficiaries, are excluded from acting as a witness).

A will is key for your control and certainty over the important decisions that will be made when you pass away.  Such decisions may include:

(i) Who will care for my children?

(ii) To whom shall my property be distributed to?

(iii) Have I provided sufficient financial support for my loved ones?

(iv) What will happen to my business?

A properly drafted will removes doubt when your estate is administered.  In addition, a will gives you the benefit of controlling the distribution of certain assets in a way to minimize tax liability.  Without a will, your estate’s handling will be determined by a legislated formula which may not reflect your intentions.  In Ontario, courts have generally applied the formalities and execution of the will very strictly.

If there are any defects with the will, a provision or even the entire document may be declared invalid.  Therefore, it is important to consult with a lawyer to ensure that you have a will that has been properly executed and meets all of the statutory requirements.

* Disclaimer:  the information provided in this article is NOT legal advice but fundamental information to be further inquired upon professionally.  You should always consult with a qualified lawyer to obtain proper legal advice.

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Evelyn Burnette
Evelyn Burnette
06:08 12 Mar 18
We have a family business and one day we found ourselves in a legal situation in which we felt completely overwhelmed and helpless. We quickly realized there’s a whole different world out there that we know nothing about. Reached out to David and he quickly wrapped himself around our case. We know he was working around the clock. In a matter of days, we had a solid argument. He is sharp, candid and a true professional. Not sure how an attorney can help a client ANY better. Absolutely no hesitation recommending him.
Julia Austerlitz
Julia Austerlitz
00:15 10 Mar 18
When I was looking for a divorce lawyer, the most important thing to me was finding someone who would be easy to communicate with. I was anticipating a nasty custody battle and the last thing I wanted was a lawyer who was hard to get a hold of or who didn’t make me feel like my case was a priority. David Costa and Robin Mann were exactly what I was looking for. They responded quickly to all of my emails, took all of my concerns very seriously and above all, is very knowledgeable about family law. This was such a difficult phase of my life and they helped me to get through to the end of it with the best possible outcome. I highly recommend this law firm.
Ben Valencia
Ben Valencia
12:47 09 Mar 18
Mr. Costa and his wonderful assistant couldn't have been anymore professional. It's unfortunate I had to meet them under these circumstances but I wouldn't have chosen anyone different to represent me if I could. They’ve always kept me up to date on things I needed to get done and both were available when I had questions. They are first class in my book.
Daniel Hardison
Daniel Hardison
06:56 09 Mar 18
Have utilized David's services several times over the last five years. He always is quick to respond (even when he was on vacation), knows the real estate business inside out. His expertise always gives me the confidence the deal is done right.
Kate Miller
Kate Miller
20:08 13 Dec 17
Costa Law were a tremendous help in solving my legal issues. David and his team were professional, efficient, thorough and compassionate. Everyone involved capably assisted me in understanding the issues and the possible outcomes. I could not be happier with the results and would encourage anyone needing legal help to contact them. Best law group in the town. Thanks to everyone at Costa Law!!!
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