Signing Wills in Ontario
Ontario permits Wills to be prepared in 2 ways:
- Handwritten (holograph) Wills and Codicils
The requirement is, however, the Will or Codicil must be written, by hand fully. No part typed. Must be by the Testator. Nothing is written below the signature. Holograph Wills do not need witnesses but must be signed and should be dated.
The same is true for an amendment called a “Codicil”. It can be in writing by the Testator; completely by hand; signed and dated. Again no witnesses required. If more than one amendment (“Codicil”), remember to number them separately and all must be with the Will: a missing number could be fatal.
- Typewritten Wills
The rules are slightly different. But rigid. They must be signed by the Testator with two witnesses who:
- Were with the Testator when he/she signed, and
- Are not the Executor or a beneficiary or a spouse of any.
That is what is required at the minimum. However, each of the Testator and the 2 witnesses should also initial each page of the Will (bottom right or left) and add to the Will, after the Testator’s signature the name (in print and by signature) addresses and occupation of both witnesses.
Note: A typewritten Will not signed by the Testator and the 2 witnesses is invalid, resulting in Intestacy.
Note as well: Very recent Ontario rules, because of the Pandemic, are relaxed, temporarily to allow Wills to be signed remotely. However, this is only temporary during the health crisis.
AFFIDAVIT OF EXECUTION
This is an incredibly important document that should be completed immediately when the Will is signed and kept with the original Will. It will be necessary if the Will is to be probated.
Ministry of Attorney General Emergency Order Allowing Virtual Participation in Wills
Ontario Attorney General issues emergency order allowing Wills and Powers of Attorney to be witnessed virtually
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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.