Wills & Estates Lawyers in Guelph
A will is most probably one of the most important things that you can have to ensure your family’s future. Visit Flesher & Mann for expert advice on wills and estates in Guelph. Besides legally protecting your spouse, children, and assets, a will gives you the opportunity to make important decisions before you pass away. Our estate planning services are designed to help you achieve your objectives and minimize taxes by preparing wills, powers of attorney, and more.
Jeffrey A. Mann, the principal lawyer at Flesher & Mann, has been practicing law and handling real estate transactions, wills, powers of attorney, and other matters related to family law since 1978. He serves clients in Guelph and Wellington County.
Top Ten Reasons to Get a Will
Drafting a will gives you peace of mind. It ensures your loved ones are taken care of even when you are not around. Take a look at the top ten reasons to get a will.
You have sole discretion about how your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally-binding document in which you can determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. Without a will, there is no guarantee that your wishes will be honoured, and family fights might arise.
You have the authority to decide who will take care of your minor children. Without a will, the decision is left to the court to choose a family member or a state-appointed guardian to raise them.
A will helps you to avoid a lengthy probate process. All estates go through the probate process with or without a will. However, having a will expedites the process and informs the court how you would like your estate to be divided.
You can minimize your estate taxes. The value of what you give to your loved ones or to a charity reduces the value of your estate when the time comes to pay taxes.
A will helps you decide who will take up the affairs of your estate. Executors make sure that everything is in order. From paying off bills to cancelling your credit cards, executors play a big role in the administration of your estate.
You can disinherit individuals in your will. As wills specifically outline how you want your estate to be divided, they help you in disinheriting anyone who may otherwise inherit your estate if you pass away without a will.
You can give gifts and donations in your will. You will be able to leave your legacy to someone worthy. Gifts up to $13,000 are excluded from the estate tax, which increases the value of your estate. Please check the current laws to learn about the updated gift tax exclusions.
If you die without a will, your estate might be transferred to someone you did not intend. By getting a will, you can avoid legal challenges. For example, over $1 million was awarded to a deceased individual as a result of a wrongful death lawsuit. The father, although he was not involved or in touch with his son for over 3 decades, was to inherit everything, barring anyone else from getting a share of the property!
You can change your will any time you feel like while you are alive. Events like births, deaths, and divorce can create situations where changing your will becomes necessary.
The uncertainty of the future makes having a will important. Often the need to have a will comes too late. To avoid putting your family through additional difficulties in an emotional time, it is recommended to meet with an estate planning lawyer and chalk out everything before it’s too late.
There are many reasons other than the ones listed above to have a will. While knowing the laws of the state is essential, you do not need any expertise to write your will. Contact us to help you craft your wishes into a legal document.
Common Terms in Wills and Estate Planning
Some of the common terms associated with wills and estate planning are:
Executor: An executor is a person who is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased.
Devise of personal property: Everything other than real estate property falls under devise of personal property.
Devise of estate: A devise of estate comprises all property which is not personal property. Items such as real property, stocks, cash, bonds or GICs fall under devise of estate.
Appointing guardians: Guardians are people who care for your minor child/children when you no longer can. To avoid a conflict of interest, guardians and executors/trustee should be separate individuals.
Buried or cremated: You have the choice to decide whether you want to be buried or cremated.
Powers of attorney: In the province of Ontario, there are two powers of attorney - one for personal care and one for the property.
Probating a will: The recognition of the validity of a will by the court and the appointment of the person mentioned in the will as the executor is known as probating a will.
Probate fees: A probate fee is paid to the provincial government when an executor or administrator of an estate of a deceased individual seeks approval to administer an estate in the absence of a will or no executor is named in the will.
Inter-vivos trust: This is a method where the legal and beneficial ownership of the property is separate. A trustee owns the legal title to the trust property whereas the beneficiary receives all the benefits.
Joint accounts with right of survivorship: A home registered between joint tenants or a bank account which is jointly held will pass from the deceased joint owner to the surviving joint owner.
Get in touch with our estate planning lawyer who can help you draft your wishes into a legal document.