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Wills and Estates
I can get a Will form at the stationery store or "off the Net". Why should I go to the expense of a lawyer?
Not all Wills are created equal. Although it is possible for you to make a valid Will by drafting it yourself or by filling out a generic Will form purchased from a stationery store, you run the risk of creating a legacy of headaches for your Executors and your heirs. Have you forgotten an important detail? Have you used language that is ambiguous? Has your Will been properly signed and witnessed?
Your Will could end up being the subject of a protracted Court battle resulting in considerable expense, usually to the Estate itself, delay and hardship for the people that you had intended to benefit.
We see this as the bottom line: no matter how intelligent or articulate you are, you probably do not know enough about Wills, Estate, Family, Trust and Tax law to ensure that your wishes are clearly expressed and will be carried out and that the maximum value of your Estate and property is passed on to your beneficiaries.
Considering the extraordinary amounts of money that you pay to Canada Revenue Agency during your lifetime, you would expect CRA to treat you with respect when you die. Don't count on it! Unfortunately, your final tax bill can be incredibly expensive unless you take steps in your Will to prevent this. Further, if you die without a Will, the Court is not required (or motivated) to distribute your Estate in a way that would minimize tax liability.
You do not have complete freedom to dispose of your assets as you wish. You are restricted by Provincial laws and public policy, including statutes such as the Testators' Family Maintenance Act and the Matrimonial Property Act, as well as contracts that you may have made during your lifetime which are not yet complete.
You are the best person to formulate a plan to transfer your assets to those you wish to benefit upon your death. Your lawyer is your best partner in formulating that plan.