In Ontario, the Government of the Province of Ontario through the Succession Law Reform Act will decide how your Estate will be distributed. The Court will appoint a Trustee to look after the administration of your Estate and this Trustee may not be the person who you would have selected as your executor to look after your affairs. We can ensure that your wishes are recorded so that your family knows how you want your Estate divided and the Government of the Province of Ontario does not decide how your property is settled.
Wills and Powers of Attorney
We will review the required probate fees and possibilities for reducing probate fees, discuss: gifts to your spouse or children or charity, family law issues, trusts for minor children and for those receiving disability support (Henson Trusts).
We also recommend executing Powers of Attorney to appoint some person to look after your affairs for you if you become mentally incompetent or physically incapable. The Power of Attorney is a legal document which enables you to appoint some person to look after your affairs for you when you are alive.
The Power of Attorney must be made while you are mentally competent. If you subsequently become mentally incompetent, your Attorney will then be able to look after your affairs for you.
If you become mentally incompetent and have not signed a Power of Attorney, the only way your affairs can be looked after is by the appointment of a Guardian by the Court. This procedure is far more expensive and will take longer than a Power of Attorney and may result in the appointment of someone who you may not have selected.
We also advise executors with respect to the administration of Estates. We provide guidance in interpreting Wills, distributing property to beneficiaries and preparing the Estate Trustee’s Statment of Accounts which are provided to the beneficiaries once the Estate has been settled.