Wills written years ago or even yesterday can have errors that call your intentions into question. Your estate trustee can only defend your Will against creditors and claimants if they know what your final wishes were.
Axess Law makes a new Will when the one you have right now has mistakes that make it hard to figure out. We take handwritten Wills and translate them into professional looking documents courts accept.
Fixing Mistakes in Wills
Drafting errors like typos are not the come down of a typical Will. Courts can and will remedy small mistakes that don’t change the meaning. For example, they can overlook an old address (looks like you need to revisit your Will).
On the other hand, your Will may come into question if:
- you gift assets you no longer own
- your Will disproportionately favours a beneficiary, especially a family caregiver
- beneficiaries claim you didn’t understand what you were signing
- business partners benefit over your family.
10 Common Mistakes in Ontario Wills
- Didn’t have it witnessed.
- Divorced and left the ex-spouse in.
- Had your spouse witness your Will.
- Made a new, undated Will.
- Forgot to revoke your old Will — which one is valid now?
- Wrote out your Will by hand but forgot to sign it.
- Old Will leaves out new assets.
- Remarried, but new kids aren’t included.
- Beneficiary predeceases you.
- No alternate estate trustees named — who carries on if yours resigns or dies?
Anyone can make a mistake.
Who Decides If Wills Are Valid
Ontario probate court decides if your Will is correct. Your estate representative takes your final Will and any changes to court to get a certificate of appointment of estate trustee with a Will. The judge reviews your testamentary Will to determine if it is valid.
What Happens If Wills Are Unclear
Crossed out changes or typed pages added to a handwritten Will can be enough to call your Will into question.
- Without being there to defend yourself, the judge must decide if you meant to rewrite your last Will and testament or if changes are forged or coercive.
- Conflicting codicils or pages attached to your Will that amend it are extra work for courts. They require estate trustees and judges to match changes to your original. It’s time consuming work.
- New amendments to Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act make it possible for probate court judges to validate Wills that are incomplete or confusing.
- Failing to execute your Will according to the act’s rules no longer terminates your Will.
- Judges can alter or revise your Will to revoke or accept provisions evidence shows you intended to make.
Still, why leave your estate to chance when Axess Law can make new Wills and power of attorney that include your every final wishes?
Making Changes the Court Accepts
Courts can overturn Will provisions that are confusing or unclear. Terms you include in a Will that could have multiple meanings may require a judge to decide what your final intentions were.
You want your Will to be an honest statement of your final wishes. When probate court is called on to declare your last Will and testament as valid, don’t leave the details dangling.
Ontario succession law (Wills law) gives you the right to include or exclude anyone you want. The court sets reasonable limits on dependants who relied on you financially — they can contest your Will.
But If you plan to disinherit a disagreeable adult child or remove an ex-spouse because you remarried, Axess Law makes that plainly obvious.
Who Can Contest a Will
Any beneficiary you named (family, friends or business partners) or even former common law partners can contest your Will in probate court.
Have you ever stopped to think that:
- Children you bore or unborn children may have a dependant’s support claim if you did not make adequate support for them in your Will?
- Creditors can exercise their right to be paid for outstanding bills?
- Next-of-kin may argue you lacked mental capacity to change your Will?
- A favourite child could state you were unduly influenced or coerced to leave them out?
- Spouses you deliberately omitted may be wronged by simple provisions that unfairly deny them basic entitlements, like access to joint bank accounts?
Your estate trustee is your personal representative in court. Correcting errors in your Will is the best way to assist them in preventing your estate being reduced by legal claims.
Low Flat Rate Legal Services
When you need to fix a Will, our low flat rate fees start at just $199.99 plus HST for a personal Will. Add powers of attorney (POA) for personal care and property for $99 more plus HST. You
pay just $249.99 and up plus HST for a Will and power of attorney (Ontario) for both.
Drafting a new Will is cheap and makes more sense than making constant changes by writing a codicil to a Will. amendments that can be easily misplaced. New Wills are less confusing to your estate trustee and ensure Ontario probate court has your valid, last Will and testament at hand.
Electronic Wills and POAs are legal in Ontario — save time preparing your Will online with our lawyer, then stop by our office to sign.
Booking Lawyers in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa
Axess Law has a Will and power of attorney lawyer near you who can draft new Wills if your old one has errors. We make virtual video conference calls from the convenience of your home or office, 7 days a week, anywhere in Ontario. Or meet with us in person at any Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa Axess Law locations.
We have onsite parking and easy public transit access.