Do I really need a will?

Posted on: April 8, 2012

A Will is a legal document that sets out what should happen with all of your belongings upon your death. It is an important estate planning tool and it allows you to express your wishes for what is done with everything you own upon your death. A properly drafted Will may also help reduce some of the taxes that need to be paid as a result of your death. At Avery Law Office, we can provide you with legal advice regarding the tax consequences that may result from your death.

You can register a Wills Notice with Vital Statistics. There is no legal requirement that you register your Will, but registering will create a record of where your current Will is located. A Wills Notice search must be completed before your executor can proceed with probate and act on your Will. This requirement ensures that your most recent Will is acted upon. Registration will provide you with some assurance that the appropriate Will is located and your wishes followed.

What will happen if I don’t make a Will?

There is no legal requirement for you to make a Will. But if you do not have a Will, there is no legal way for your wishes to be known. You will have no say in the care of your minor children. If you die without a Will, you have died “intestate” and there is law which will set out who inherits your belongings. You will lose your control over the disposition of your belongings upon your death. If you have no successors that are legally recognized, all of your property will pass to the provincial Crown.

Examples of some of the instructions you can state in your Will include:

  • The name of a guardian for your minor children
  • The terms of a trust for your minor children or spouse
  • The name of a person or multiple persons who will be responsible for settling your affairs after your death
  • The names of the persons, classes or charities who will get your possessions and under what circumstances



The information provided on this website is merely an informative guide and should not be relied upon for legal advice. It is intended to provide general information only. It is recommended that you see a lawyer about your particular legal situation and request legal advice.

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