Include Your Alma Mater in Your Estate Plan

Give back to your college or university when you leave your alma mater in your estate plan.

Last Will and testament documents are the right place to remember an alma mater that made an impact on your life or career.

The temptation can be great to sign donor cards when they arrive in the mail. But do you truly understand the legal pros and cons of recognizing your alma mater in your estate plan?

Axess Law can draft a Will that names your alma mater or prepare a new one if your old Will omits a college or university you want to gift.

When is a Will really your last?

How to Donate to Your Alma Mater in Your Estate Plan

You can donate money or investments to an alma mater or even create a scholarship or graduate research fund in your name. If your college days bring back fond memories, consider:

1. Leaving a cash amount.

Talk to a gift planner or donor relations officer with your alma mater if you want to leave a cash bequest.

2. Specifying a source of your donation.

Instead of cash, specify a bank account you want your donation to come from. Setting a limit, such as $5,000, directs your executor on how much to grant your alma mater in your estate plan.

3. Gifting property or collectibles.

Collectibles like valuable art or rare books amassed over a lifetime can be welcome. Check with your alma mater before leaving collections or real property that may be difficult to auction or sell.

4. Assigning a percentage of your estate proceeds.

Giving a percentage of your entire estate can be well meaning, but expose your assets to unexpected scrutiny. Before you invite your alma mater to request your financial statements from your executor, as they can, we suggest selecting another option.

5. Contributing investments.

Investments keep giving when interest rates are favourable but can drop in value if markets decline. Nevertheless, stocks, bonds, mutual funds or treasury bills can have a prominent place in recognizing an alma mater in an estate plan.

6. Naming your alma mater a life insurance beneficiary.

Bypass probate by leaving or reassigning an existing life insurance policy to a college or university. Simply name your alma mater as your beneficiary. They reap the benefits of your careful estate planning. You get the gratification of knowing you have left behind a meaningful endowment to your alma mater in your estate plan.

Why You Need a Wills Lawyer

Handwritten or holographic Wills can be heartfelt, but may not meet legal standards for Wills in Ontario. You put time and energy into making your Will. Now make sure it will stand up in court after you are gone.

Axess Law ensures when you make Wills in Ontario that they are properly signed and witnessed. We can keep the original in our Will storage for a modest, one-time fee.

What to expect when you make a professional Will.

Wills can be contested in court by beneficiaries who disagree with how you organized your bequests or who you appointed as your personal representative to distribute your estate.

Having a handwritten Will exposes you to having your wishes potentially overturned for the slightest of reasons. You may save a few dollars doing it yourself. But why bother when it costs so little to have a Will drafted by a licensed professional?

Why hiring a lawyer to draft your Will is worth it.

Axess Law witnesses and signs your Will in front of you and advises you on storing it securely. You can make multiple Wills in Ontario and gift any beneficiary of your choice, as long as you ensure financially dependant kin are cared for. Our Wills and estates lawyers review your Will to prevent unclear language that could cause just such problems for your estate.

Make a legal Will Ontario probate court will uphold.

Marriage, separation or divorce complicating your estate affairs? Axess Law’s Ontario lawyers write new Wills instead of making amendments or codicils that may confuse estate trustees after you are gone.

Affordable Wills for Singles or Couples

Axess lawyers can draft individual or mirror Wills for you and your spouse. Our affordable flat fee legal services include a basic Will. Or write your Wills at the same time and save with our couples’ packages.

Will options for singles and couples.

Mirror Wills duplicate provisions in couples’ Wills, while giving both of you the freedom to make individual bequests that have personal meaning for you. Your basic Will starts at $199.99 and up plus HST. Couples pay $149.99 and up plus HST each to make mirror or individual Wills in the same appointment.

Power of attorney for property (finances) and personal care added at the same time are an inexpensive option. Axess Law’s fees start at $249.99 each plus HST for a virtual Will and two power of attorney appointments or $299.99 each plus HST for in-person Wills.

Draft new Wills and powers of attorney.

Locate Wills Lawyers Near Me

Arrange day or evening appointments at Ottawa or Greater Toronto Area law offices near you. Axess Law Wills and estate lawyers are available 7 days a week, whenever it’s convenient for you.

Meet in person with Wills and estate lawyers to draft a new Will when yours is outdated or you acquire substantial new assets. Changed spouses or careers lately? Your Will deserves a refresh to protect your family and financial interests.

Why we make new Wills instead of a codicil.

Can’t make it into an office? We go to you, via secure, confidential video conferencing software. Our remote Wills lawyers make putting your final wishes in writing as painless as possible. Drop by our offices to sign at your leisure. We send you a copy you can distribute to estate trustees and trusted loved ones.

Using a virtual notary.

Make Online or Phone Appointments

Make virtual video calls from anywhere in Ontario or book in person appointments at any of our Axess Law locations. Our online booking form lets you pick times and days that work for you. Call our 647-479-0118 lawyer line to find a lawyer for Wills near you or toll free to 877-402-4277. We’re located near major transit stops and have onsite parking for your convenience.

Related Articles