Why do I Need a Will if I do Not Own Real Estate?
Even if you do not own a home, having a Will in Ontario is still important for several reasons:
- Distribution of assets: A Will allows you to specify how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. Even if you don’t own a home, you may have other valuable possessions, such as vehicles, investments, bank accounts, or personal belongings. Without a Will, the distribution of these assets will be determined by the intestacy laws of Ontario, which may not align with your wishes.
- Appointing an Executor: A Will enables you to name an Executor responsible for administering your Estate. The Executor carries out your instructions, settles your debts, and distributes your assets. Without a Will, the court will appoint an administrator, which may cause delays and potential disputes among family members. It can also cost you money as you often need the help of a lawyer to guide you through the process.
- Guardianship of minor children: If you have minor children, a will allows you to designate a guardian who will care for them in the event of your death. This ensures that your children are placed in the care of someone you trust and have chosen, rather than leaving it up to the court to decide.
- Funeral and burial wishes: A Will can include instructions regarding your funeral arrangements and burial wishes. By expressing your preferences in a Will, you can relieve your loved ones of the burden of making difficult decisions during an emotional time. At Smartwills we strongly suggest that this information be in a Power of Attorney document as Wills are often read after you have been buried and some of your wishes may have been ignored.
- Avoiding family disputes: A properly drafted Will can help minimize conflicts and family disputes after your death. By clearly stating your intentions and desires, you can reduce the likelihood of disagreements among your family members regarding the distribution of your assets.
It’s worth noting that even if you don’t currently own a home, your circumstances may change in the future. Creating a Will early on ensures that you have a plan in place that can be updated as your life situation evolves. It is advisable to consult with an Estate Planning lawyer in Ontario to help you draft a comprehensive Will that reflects your wishes and protects your interests.
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Ministry of Attorney General Information on Estates, Wills and Trusts
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.