BMO Nesbitt Burns
1400-1675 Grafton St
The Why and When of Wills
make a Will? It is estimated that one third of Canadians do not have a
Will. And many others have Wills that are out of date and totally
inadequate to deal with their assets or their current circumstances.
Without a Will, you are said to die "intestate” and provincial law dictates who will receive the assets of your estate.
since no executor has been appointed by you, someone must apply to the
Court to get permission to administer your estate. The person must prove
he or she is an appropriate person to properly administer your estate
and may have to post a bond as security. The administration of your
estate will be "on hold” until someone prepares all the paperwork,
contacts all the potential beneficiaries, hires a lawyer to assist them,
and is approved by the judge. Of course the legal bills will mount up,
and these ultimately will be payable from the assets of your estate.
delays occur if there are minor children or there is a dispute among
family members or others as to who should be appointed to administer
your estate. Where there are minor children, the Public Guardian for the
province will be involved and additional consents must be obtained.
Once the estate is distributed, the share of a minor will be invested by
the Public Guardian and paid in full to the child when he/ she reaches
the age of majority whether the child is mature enough to manage the
money or not!
The provincial formula for distribution on an
intestacy provides for a preferential share to the surviving spouse, and
the balance to be divided between the surviving spouse and children
whether they are minors or adults. Where there is no surviving spouse or
children or grandchildren, more remote descendents or other relatives
may be entitled to a distribution. And if after an exhaustive search no
surviving blood relatives can be found, your estate will go to the
So why have a Will? Save your estate some money, and
save your family a lot of anguish and red tape. It is the only way you
can choose who will administer your estate, who will inherit your
estate, and when and how it will be divided and distributed.