Leave a Lasting Legacy for Your Family

Wills and Estate Planning for Families in Toronto

Preparing a Will is One of the Most Important Things You Can Do As a Parent

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Do I Really Need a Will? Right Now?

Four Reasons Why You Should Prepare a Will Right Now:

 

1. Protect

Life is uncertain.  Accidents and illnesses happen.  They can change everything in one moment. Protect your kids in the event of unforseen circumstances and uphold your responsibility as a parent even if you physically can no longer do so.

2. Control

You decide who cares for the kids in your place instead of the courts. Prevent additional trauma for your child by ensuring those you know and trust will take care of your kids. Your will guides the court in upholding your choices.

3. Provide

Ensure your kids are provided for even if you’re not around.  By having a solid trust plan in place, know that your kids will have the support they need to carry them into adulthood in a manner consistent with your own values and wishes.

4. Guide

Let your memory and stories live on and guide your children.  By communicating your values, insights and wishes, you will remain a lasting influence as they navigate life.  Our will planning process incorporates this important element.

Ready to get started on your will? Book an appointment now. 416-660-8600

Four Consequences if You Die Without a Will:

 

Consequence 1: Custody of Your Kids

In this video, we discuss the first potential consequence if you die without a will, and that is: custody of your children.

Most of you who are young parents live busy lives. We don’t think about what would happen if we were to suddenly die. Let’s explore what could happen if we suddenly die and have no will in place.

What would happen if you didn’t make it home?

Ask yourself this: are you at home with your kids right now? If you’re out of the house, and didn’t make it back, what would happen to your kids? Do you have a plan in place to deal with such a situation? If you’re like the vast majority of parents, you probably don’t. And that can be a problem if misfortune strikes.

If you die and have a surviving spouse who lives with you, then your spouse will take custody of your kids. But what if you and your spouse were together, and something happened?

Do you have someone who could immediately come and take care of the kids? If not, then the police would be forced to deliver them to the local child welfare authorities. Would the police know whom to contact in case of an emergency? In a traumatic situation like this, your kids would be placed in the hands of strangers.

Who will take care of the kids?

If you and your spouse are gone, who’s gonna take care of the kids? Meaning, who will house them, who will make decisions on their health, education and nurturing?

Have you discussed this with members of your family or friends? Is everyone in agreement?

If there is no will specifying this, then the kids will be in limbo until the courts decide who will take custody of the kids. This limbo will be worse if there is disagreement about who should take custody of the kids.

With a will, you can name who’s gonna have immediate custody of the kids. This will save lots of time, headache and most importantly, traumatic heartache for your kids.

The Next Video

Custody of your kids is not the only consequence. In the next video, learn about how you can lose control of how you provide for your kids if you’re gone.

Consequence 2: Providing for Your Kids

In this video, we discuss the first potential consequence if you die without a will, and that is: custody of your children.

Most of you who are young parents live busy lives. We don’t think about what would happen if we were to suddenly die. Let’s explore what could happen if we suddenly die and have no will in place.

What would happen if you didn’t make it home?

Ask yourself this: are you at home with your kids right now? If you’re out of the house, and didn’t make it back, what would happen to your kids? Do you have a plan in place to deal with such a situation? If you’re like the vast majority of parents, you probably don’t. And that can be a problem if misfortune strikes.

If you die and have a surviving spouse who lives with you, then your spouse will take custody of your kids. But what if you and your spouse were together, and something happened?

Do you have someone who could immediately come and take care of the kids? If not, then the police would be forced to deliver them to the local child welfare authorities. Would the police know whom to contact in case of an emergency? In a traumatic situation like this, your kids would be placed in the hands of strangers.

Who will take care of the kids?

If you and your spouse are gone, who’s gonna take care of the kids? Meaning, who will house them, who will make decisions on their health, education and nurturing?

Have you discussed this with members of your family or friends? Is everyone in agreement?

If there is no will specifying this, then the kids will be in limbo until the courts decide who will take custody of the kids. This limbo will be worse if there is disagreement about who should take custody of the kids.

With a will, you can name who’s gonna have immediate custody of the kids. This will save lots of time, headache and most importantly, traumatic heartache for your kids.

The Next Video

Custody of your kids is not the only consequence. In the next video, learn about how you can lose control of how you provide for your kids if you’re gone.

Consequence 3: Control of Your Assets

In this video, we talk about how you lose control of your assets if you die without a will.

If you die without a will, your assets are distributed according to the provincial laws. If you have a surviving spouse, the first $200,000 of your assets go to your spouse. The remainder is divided between your spouse and children. If both you and your spouse pass away, then all of your assets go to your children.

The Downside of Automatic Inheritance

In the previous video, we discussed what happens to your assets if your children are minors. Here is what happens to your assets once your children become 18: they get all of it.

We were all 18 once. If you’re like me, we know that we were far from mature. Would you want your child to have all of your assets at 18? Wouldn’t you want to direct or control how these assets are used?

As parents, we want our children to use the assets in ways that are productive and helpful for them in the long run. We don’t want them to waste everything all at once.

Don’t you want to direct and guide them so that they would use those assets for important things like education, or for some other productive purpose? Wouldn’t it be helpful if you had someone you trusted to look after these assets, who will ensure that the assets are used in ways you approve, until your children become fully ready to control those assets on their own?

You can do all this and more by having an effective will in place.

The Next Video

In this video we talked about what would happen in the long run. In the next video, we learn about what would happen immediately if you die without a will. Please join us there.

Consequence 4: Management of Your Estate

In this video, we discuss some of the things that can happen to your assets if you die without a will.

First Steps After You Die

The first thing that must be done with respect to your assets, is that someone must gather them. This is referred to as a “personal representative”, or an “estate trustee”.

In a will, you name an estate trustee, so this matter is taken care of. If there is no will, then someone must apply to the court to be appointed as the estate trustee. This will take time, as most people don’t know where to do this, how to do this, and how to avoid errors in the application.

Taxes that Could Have Been Avoided

When your personal representative does make an application to the court to become your estate trustee, they will have to pay taxes on your estate.

The amount of tax to be paid depends on the value of your assets – or in other words, the combined value of all of your assets.

The amount of taxes paid could have been reduced significantly if a properly planned will is in place. Wouldn’t you rather have more of your assets going to your loved ones than to the government?

Video Series: How to Prepare a Will

We hope that these videos gave you a glimpse of what could happen if you die without a will. If you’re convinced that having a will is important as a parent, then take the next step by learning how to effectively prepare a will. We have created a free lesson series for you. You can get there by clicking to that page.
Take the first and important step in educating yourself on how you can protect and secure what is most important to you.

Need to Learn More?

Watch our Lesson Series:

“How to Prepare a Will”

Learn Now

Don’t delay this important rite of passage! Get started now. 416-660-8600