Can a Surviving Spouse Change a Mutual Will?

2021-11-18T20:14:01-05:00

Most people are aware of the importance of a will yet do not understand that there are different types of wills. Complicating the matter all the more is the potential for a surviving spouse to potentially alter a mutual will that was initially created by both spouses under the guidance of an estate planning attorney. Let’s take a look at the different types of wills in the context of estate planning and whether spouses are legally empowered to amend mutual wills. What is a Mutual Will? It is quite common for spouses to create wills that are similar. Some spouses have [...]

Can a Surviving Spouse Change a Mutual Will?2021-11-18T20:14:01-05:00

What Assets are Subject to Probate in Ontario?

2021-09-21T18:39:56-04:00

If you have a will and have appointed an executor, you may have the idea that when you pass away, all your assets will need to go through probate before they are distributed to your beneficiaries. This isn’t always exactly what happens. In some cases, only certain assets need probate and in others, probate is not even necessary. There are many misconceptions about probate floating around, and it is hard to know which information is correct. Small details and differences can have a large effect on the probate process, and often, well-meaning friends and family will give advice based on their [...]

What Assets are Subject to Probate in Ontario?2021-09-21T18:39:56-04:00

Is Estate Planning the Same as A Will?

2021-06-21T14:57:17-04:00

If you are reading this, you have probably decided that it is finally time to cross “getting a will” off your list of things to do. Before you get started, you may have questions. For instance, what is the difference between having a will and estate planning? Are they the same thing? What is an estate planning lawyer? What is a Will? A will is simply a legal document that sets out a person’s wishes about what will happen to their assets at the end of their life. There are formal legal requirements to formatting a will, and these requirements can [...]

Is Estate Planning the Same as A Will?2021-06-21T14:57:17-04:00

Important Items to Consider When Drafting a Will

2020-11-12T16:45:51-05:00

June 19, 2019 By: Samantha Rosen-Lawlor Thinking about a will can be a difficult process. It means thinking about what would happen to your spouse or partner, children, grandchildren, siblings and family and friends when you pass away. While difficult to think about, it’s also a crucial way to ensure that your wishes concerning your surviving family and friends, are met. Clear directions on how to provide for spouses, adult children and their families, and how you wish to divide your estate can help your family avoid the complications that can arise if your will is vague, or you pass away [...]

Important Items to Consider When Drafting a Will2020-11-12T16:45:51-05:00

Common-Law Relationships And Estates Law

2020-11-12T16:45:56-05:00

April 5, 2019 By: Samantha Rosen-Lawlor Common-law couples do not have the same rights as married couples. If your common-law partner passes away without a will, you may not have many legal options at your disposal to protect your rights to his or her estate. It’s important to understand the options you can pursue in this situation, and to discuss them with your partner as you plan your wills to make sure each of you is protected. As outlined on s Steps to Justice page, there are a couple of alternatives that a surviving partner can look into. Below is a very brief [...]

Common-Law Relationships And Estates Law2020-11-12T16:45:56-05:00

What Sarah Said

2020-11-12T16:25:27-05:00

August 24, 2018 By: Jennifer Foster This is one of my favourite songs by Death Cab for Cutie—a mournful composition of a last vigil. Unlike my musician spouse, poignant lyrics will draw me into a song much more quickly than the accompanying musical score. And my pull to this particular song has become even stronger lately as I spend more and more time with clients in urgent and palliative care. Drafting or amending a will during one’s final moments in this world can give comfort and reassurance—asserting control over the process of dying, ensuring loved ones are looked after, perhaps even [...]

What Sarah Said2020-11-12T16:25:27-05:00

Estate Planning: Choosing a Power of Attorney

2020-11-12T16:46:07-05:00

July 20, 2018 By: Jennifer Foster In this day and age, not even landing on the moon can protect someone from apparent elder abuse. Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin is suing two of his children and a former manager. The famous astronaut is accusing them of mismanaging his business affairs and of slandering him by claiming that 88-year-old Aldrin has dementia. He wants a court judge to take control of his financial affairs and social media accounts away from his son Andrew. Aldrin claims that he revoked the power of attorney he gave Andrew, but that Andrew still makes financial decisions for him. [...]

Estate Planning: Choosing a Power of Attorney2020-11-12T16:46:07-05:00

The Decline of the Written Word

2020-11-12T16:46:19-05:00

May 11, 2018 By: Jennifer Foster I was surprised to learn-only just recently-that students are no longer learning to "write" in school. With computers and laptops in school, printing is about as far as the pen goes. Having completed my first post secondary degree on a typewriter-and the second on a computer in a bank of machines located in a dusty basement of the university-it made me pause to think about a world in without writing utensils. Is this necessarily a bad thing? In the case of wills, maybe not. Codicils were pages attached to a will that set out revised [...]

The Decline of the Written Word2020-11-12T16:46:19-05:00

Wills and Estates: Avoid an Estate “Fail” By Contacting a Lawyer

2020-11-12T16:44:50-05:00

April 11, 2018 By: Jennifer Foster Do-it-yourself will kits can be an inexpensive option in the short term, but the final product is often created without attention the most important aspects of estate planning. Ensuring that your will is executed the way you intend requires a thoughtful and knowledgeable consideration of the finer points of the law in this area. Ambiguity in the terms of the will may invite legal challenge or require judicial interpretation. These processes can be expensive and may not attract a positive outcome, in addition to draining estate resources. An experienced estate planning lawyer is essential in [...]

Wills and Estates: Avoid an Estate “Fail” By Contacting a Lawyer2020-11-12T16:44:50-05:00

Wills and Estates: Why Do You Need a Will?

2020-11-12T16:42:07-05:00

April 11, 2018 By: Jennifer Foster A carefully planned will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. While there are many reasons why this is true, this brief article explains the three most important reasons why everyone should think carefully about planning their estate. Your estate reflects your legacy A will is a legally binding document that allows you to determine exactly how and to whom your property is distributed in the event of an unfortunate and often unexpected death. Everyone has intentions about how they would like their property to be distributed, [...]

Wills and Estates: Why Do You Need a Will?2020-11-12T16:42:07-05:00
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