4 Ways to Prevent Estate Disputes in Wills

Your Last Will and Testament need not be a work in progress. Write your Will in a way that minimizes estate disputes.

Disputes among beneficiaries or confusion by an estate trustee can keep your estate in limbo for months or years to come. Make your intentions clear by drafting your Will to avoid these common estate disputes.   

 

  1. How Your Money is Being Managed.

Executors of a Will have a say in how your money is managed after you pass on. After all, you appointed them to collect, appraise and value your assets and to ensure estate investments return a profit. 

Your personal representative can be called on to make new investments or close unprofitable accounts without any input from beneficiaries. If that’s not to your beneficiaries’ liking, anyone with a financial interest in your estate can make an application to the court to have your executor pass the accounts.

That will require your estate trustee to file financial records in court for your beneficiaries to review. Their money management tactics could be disputed by a judge or party to your assets. 

Before your estate plans get dissected by a court, make a financial plan with an investment advisor and your estate trustee to reduce the chances of costly legal interventions. 

Get a financial accounting of how an executor is managing an estate. 

 

  1. Frustrated Will, Frustrated Beneficiaries.

Handwritten or holographic Wills, and even some written by lawyers, can become invalidated if they fail to meet legal standards for Wills in Ontario. 

Imagine how distressed your beneficiaries may become if your Will is insufficiently drafted. Rather than making them wait to hear from the court if a probate judge will accommodate a poorly made Will, stave off estate disputes by ensuring yours is acceptable.   

Why you should hire a lawyer to write Wills in Ontario. 

 

  1. Letting Legal Actions Linger.

Resolving outstanding legal disputes promptly can prevent your executor from having to use valuable estate assets to represent you in court. 

If you die while a legal action is before the court, your estate trustee will have to make a decision on whether to drop the dispute or proceed on your behalf. Assets you meant to go to beneficiaries could be tied up by court applications — and they may even challenge your executor’s decisions on managing the legal action.

Types of Wills for your financial needs. 

Your estate trustee may even find their ability to maximize assets by selling them at auction or listing real estate for sale complicated by having to account for the high cost of ongoing litigation. Legal fees executors incur are paid by your estate.

Wrapping up your legal affairs, or at least providing clear legal direction to your trustee, can prevent beneficiaries from worrying about how long it is taking to distribute your estate and save valuable money.   

 

  1. Neglecting Who to Appoint as Executor of Will. 

Who can be an executor of a Will in Ontario can be contentious for any estate. Why make it an issue for yours?

Select estate trustees in advance by appointing them in your Will. Without a valid Will naming who you want to distribute your estate after you die, you could be at the whim of anyone who applies to Ontario probate court. 

How to become executor of estate in Ontario.  

Divorced spouses or other next of kin you would prefer not take charge of your estate can apply for a certificate of appointment of estate trustee without a Will. Unless other parties contest their application, a probate judge may give them legal authority to manage and invest your assets and decide what your beneficiaries receive.

Axess Law records your choices for executor of Will to avoid leaving your estate up to chance.

 

Why You Need a Lawyer

 

Axess Law lawyers draft Wills that comply with Ontario’s estate laws. Prepare Will documents that protect family members and valuable assets to avoid your estate being left to an Ontario probate court to disburse.

Find answers to your questions about what is probate

When you die without a valid Will, a judge decides who gets your assets, based on a formula set out in the Succession Law Reform Act. Wealth or real property you intended to go to immediate family may be granted to separated or divorced spouses. Your current next of kin may be left out because you neglected to make provision for them in your Will.

Minors and mentally incapable adults can be forced to go to court with the aid of the Ontario Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee to get financial support from your estate. 

Probating your estate is easier for your executor when you make a Will that clearly sets out your final wishes. Personal property and real estate can be left to anyone you choose with a minimum of fuss and distributed in a timely way.

Locate a probate lawyer near you. 

We draft new Wills to avoid protracted estate battles that can cause your executor to be frustrated in their efforts to disburse your estate the way you planned. We designate your choices for personal representative, estate trustee or executor and their alternates or substitutes. 

You receive a final copy to distribute as you wish to executors, next of kin or friends.   

 

Virtual or In-Person Legal Appointments for Less

 

Access lawyers in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa via a secure, online video conference. Prepare your Will from the comfort of your home or office and drop into any Axess Law location to sign. Our virtual lawyers make writing Wills simple.

You get only the services you require when Axess Law drafts your Will. Our flat fee legal services are all-inclusive. Your bill includes no hidden extras or surprises. New  Wills start at $199.99 and up plus HST or $149.99 each and up plus HST when you and a spouse make mirror Wills at the same time. 

Prepare a basic Will – it’s quick and cheap. 

Include power of attorney documents for personal care and property (financial assets) at the same time for only $99.99 plus HST. For $299.99 plus HST, we can meet you in person and give you a complete Wills and power of attorney package. Remote, online video calls for both power of attorney and a Will are $249.99 each and up plus HST. 

 

Easy Online Booking or Phone Us Toll-Free

 

Make appointments quickly and easily with our online booking form. Or call 647-479-0118  or toll free to 877-402-4277 for lawyers for Wills or probate lawyers near you. In person appointments are available at Axess Law locations in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa, 7 days a week. Make day or evening appointments at your leisure. 

We have onsite parking with easy transit access.

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