Mistakes Grandparents Make in Wills

Are you making the same mistakes in Wills many Ontario grandparents do? Answer yes to any of these questions and you may want to rethink how you gift grandchildren in your last Will and testament.

  1. Giving away money you may need later.
  2. Gifting cash to minors.
  3. Creating joint accounts.
  4. Not setting limits.
  5. Playing favourites.

Mistakes in Wills can cause your grandchildren to lose out on the enjoyment bequests could give them and you.

How to write a Will in Ontario to prevent estate disputes.

A girl with money

Giving Away Money You May Need Later

Being generous has its drawbacks. Enthusiastic as you may be to share your riches, picture having to ask for inter vivos gifts (made during your lifetime) back.

Coming up short financially can be embarrassing, especially if your grandchildren have already planned to or spent their bequest. Strongly considering holding off on giving away anything of substantial value, especially investments or collectibles, until after you pass on.

Writing a Will in Ontario — how to prevent mistakes in Wills.

Gifting Minors

Grandchildren under 18 or who are mentally incapable cannot inherit directly. By naming a minor or adult with mental disabilities in your Will, you are leaving your assets in the control of parents, guardians or trustees. If you have underaged grandchildren, set up a trust fund to protect their finances until they reach adulthood.

Make a Henson trust for grandchildren with disabilities.

Creating Joint Accounts

Holding investments jointly with grandchildren may seem like a great idea. Unfortunately, minors won’t be able to reap the benefits until they turn 18. Keep joint investments in a survivorship account, so grandchildren can inherit without paying estate administration tax. You can appoint an executor in your Will to manage their finances until they are 18.

Finding the right executor for your Will.

Not Setting Limits

You can’t always tell your grandchildren what to do with your money. But you could make suggestions. Include comments about your hopes for their future in a memorandum of wishes.

Things like:

  • visiting Disneyland
  • investing their money
  • going to college
  • spending a gap year in Europe
  • or buying a home.

When a favourite grandchild has problems managing money, arrange for a trust fund instead. A trustee of your choice (lawyer or family friend?) can disburse your money as it’s needed.

You can draft a simple, handwritten and signed statement of wishes on your own. Or Axess Law’s Will and power of attorney lawyers can refer you to trusted legal partners for advice on what to include. Take note: memorandums of wishes are not legally enforceable.

Spending time with grandfathers and their grand child

Playing Favourites

Is a beloved grandchild your personal favourite? Treating grandchildren equally can potentially avoid costly and time consuming estate disputes.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Axess Law’s Wills and power of attorney Ontario lawyers ensure your basic Will meets legal standards in Ontario. Preparing a professional Will is quick and easy. Letting our Toronto or Ottawa legal professionals assist you can prevent mistakes in Wills that leave aggrieved beneficiaries behind.

Find a Wills lawyer near you.

Without a valid Will, your estate could be left for an Ontario probate court to distribute. More distressing, family members you would not have appointed (if you had the chance) may apply to be named your personal representative.

Who represents you in probate court.

A certificate of appointment of estate trustee without a Will is all it could take for an estranged spouse or adult child to get legal authority over your assets. A probate court judge can’t guess who you would like to be your Wills executor. Make sure your wishes are clear by leaving explicit directions in Wills you draft, with or without a lawyer’s assistance.

Why we suggest a professional, instead of a handwritten Will.

Axess Law writes new Wills when your life changes — you get married, separated, divorced or have biological or step-children. We replace handwritten or holographic Wills that may not stand up in court with properly witnessed, signed documents that are legally valid in Ontario. No more mistakes in Wills for beneficiaries to argue in court.

How making new Wills, instead of codicils, works to your advantage.

Our licenced lawyers correct mistakes in Wills that could leave grandchildren without bequests you planned to give them. Instead of a probate judge determining who receives your wealth — based on formulas in Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act — your last Will and testament is the final word.

You probably don’t mean for minors or financially dependant adult children to spend hours in probate court, or have to ask for aid from the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee, to get needed financial support.

Mistakes in Wills can be costly. Give your estate trustee the direction they need to ensure your beneficiaries are cared for by having Axess Law draft your Will. We write a basic Will that you can give to executors and beneficiaries to prevent misunderstandings after you are gone.

Give power of attorney to a trusted friend or family member.

Virtual or In Person Legal Appointments for Less

Living in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa but don’t have time to go to a lawyer’s office? Axess Law virtual lawyers meet with you by remote video conference to discuss what to include in your last Will and testament. You can be confident your information is secure when you use our virtual legal services.

Why we suggest mirror Wills for couples.

Axess Law’s flat fee legal services are all-inclusive. You get no hidden extras or surprises and we explain your bill when you get it.

Virtual Wills that include power of attorney for personal care and financial property begin at $249.99 plus HST or $299.99 and up to meet in person.

Prepare a basic Will. It’s quick and cheap.

Basic Wills without power of attorney are $199.99 and up plus HST. Bring your spouse and we write both your Wills for $149.99 each plus HST. Add power of attorney at the same appointment for another $99.99 each plus HST.

Making appointment through calls

Easy Online Booking or Phone Us Toll Free

Find a Wills lawyer near you. Make your own appointment with our online booking form. Or for assistance booking a time that works for you, call 647-479-0118 or toll free to 877-402-4277.

We have lawyers for Wills at Axess Law locations in Greater Toronto Area or Ottawa 7 days a week. Pick a day or evening appointment and take advantage of our onsite parking or easy transit access.