Q
WHY DO YOU NEED A WILL?
A

If you die without a Will, your estate may not be distributed the way that you want. For example, a common law spouse is not entitled to assets under intestacy law. In addition, once your estate has a value of greater than $200,000, children are entitled to part of the estate. If they are minors, their share will be managed by the government or the Court, and distributed to them when they turn 18 – which many parents consider to be too young and inexperienced to have full control over substantial assets.

If you and your spouse die in a common accident before you have drawn up a Will, the court will appoint a guardian for your minor children without knowing your intentions. Your Will is the document which informs the court of your wishes, and gives your named guardian 90 days with your children.

There are many opportunities for income and probate tax planning that are simply not available to you if you do not have a Will.

Q
WHY DO YOU NEED AN ESTATES LAWYER?
A

Execution requirements for Wills are stringent – breaching them means your Will can be null and void. In addition, while you have lots of testamentary freedom in Ontario, this freedom is not absolute – your lawyer will let you know whether or not your plan is workable.

Certain assets may not fall under your Will. Do you know what these assets are? Your qualified lawyer will.

Do you understand the income tax and probate tax consequences of the choices you have made? If not, your beneficiaries may not receive the distribution that you intend. Will your family have to sell the beloved cottage in order to pay your final income tax bill?

Estate litigation is growing by leaps and bounds. The best defence is a rock-solid solicitor’s file.

Q
WHERE DO YOU EVEN START?
AWhen you contact Basi Law regarding your estate planning, we will send you a description of our process, including a list of information to gather, and decisions to consider, before our first meeting. Katy reviews this information with you during your first meeting, and you and Katy work together to create the estate plan that is best for you, your family and your circumstances.
Q
WHO ADMINISTERS YOUR ESTATE?
AIf you have a Will, your executor named in your Will administers your estate. If you do not have a Will, someone will have to go to Court to be appointed your administrator. Court is expensive, stressful, and time consuming. Only your administrator (or, if you have a Will, your executor) can deal with your assets once you are dead – financial institutions, brokerage houses, and land titles offices are quite rigid in this regard.
Q
WHAT TYPES OF TRUSTS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER?
AWe draft lots of different types of trusts. Trusts created outside of a Will include family trusts, alter ego trusts, joint partner trusts and life insurance trusts. Trusts drafted within a Will include income sprinkling trusts, Henson trusts, spouse trusts, residence trusts, spendthrift trusts and kiddie trusts. There are lots of possibilities, depending on your situation.
Q
YOU HAVE A CORPORATION – DO YOU NEED SUCCESSION PLANNING?
AYes! The right succession plan for you could include introducing new corporations, “freezing” existing corporations to limit income tax and probate tax liabilities, adding a family trust and/or “purifying” corporations. Katy works with your accountant, financial advisor and insurance advisor to ensure that an effective, efficient succession plan is implemented.