Personal Wills in Ontario

Adopt the modernized smart and simple way to draft your Will. The legally binding document ensures your family, pets, assets, and final arrangements are taken care of exactly as you like. At Axess Law, we offer a number of affordable options to draft a Will with the choice of in-office or online appointments. Let our lawyers guide you every step of the way.

Drafting Personal Wills and Estate Plans

An estate plan and personal Will inform your loved ones where your assets are and what your final wishes were. You can preplan and prepay funeral expenses, arrange life and mortgage insurance to support loved ones, and appoint guardians for minors or dependants of any age. Axess Law’s Wills and estates lawyers help you make a plan for life.

Right now, before you put it off, is the best time to:

Review Insurance Policies
Check whether you have coverage for long-term care if you become feeble or disabled, to protect minors or dependants when you’re gone or replace family income while your Wills are being probated. Life events like having or adopting children or starting a business may make your financial plans out of date. Estate planning prompts you to review financial assets you plan to leave next of kin.

Name Beneficiaries for Joint or Investment Accounts
Naming designates for bank accounts and investments let assets pass directly to benefactors without waiting for probate court. It’s important you double-check employee pension plans to ensure beneficiary lists are current. If you are separated, divorced, remarried, or widowed, your information may be out of date.

Approach Potential Estate Administrators
Any mentally capable adult can be your estate administrator or executor, but not everyone may want to. Select a trustworthy, reliable, and financially competent administrator by asking those you know if they would be willing to represent you.

How It Works

01

Book Your Appointment

Click on ‘Get Started’ button to submit a request to meet with the Lawyer. Our customer care team will reach out to you within minutes to book your appointment. 

02

Submit Your Documents

On the day of your appointment, our lawyer will verify your identification and walk you through the intake process where they confirm your contact information.

03

Draft Your Will With A Lawyer

Our lawyer will ask you a series of questions regarding your executor, beneficiaries, and make a note of your wishes before drafting a Will accordingly.

04

Execute Your Will With A Lawyer

Our lawyer will cross-check each page of the Will with you and if you are happy with the draft, the Will is signed and executed by the lawyer on the same day.

Documents we need

If you decide to draft a personal Will, bring the following to your online video call or in-person appointment with an Axess Law Ontario Wills lawyer:

  • Statements of all your personal assets such as stocks, investments, or real estate deeds
  • Records of existing debts such as car loans, mortgage, or student loans
    Ggovernment photo ID, such as a driver’s licence, passport or permanent resident card
  • And, your contact information.

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Appointing Estate Trustees or Executors in Ontario

When you die, your estate trustees, executors or personal representatives, as they are called:

  • Talk with next-of-kin about funeral or cremation arrangements.
  • File Wills with Ontario probate court.
  • Get court permission to probate your estate by requesting a certificate of appointment as estate trustee (with or without Will).
  • Collect and value property and possessions to pay mandatory estate administration taxes.
  • Inform creditors, financial institutions and employers and pay debts like credit cards, mortgages, utility bills or income taxes from your estate.
  • Sell or rent real estate assets, based on personal instructions in your Wills.
  • Invest assets to ensure your money grows until it is distributed.
  • Can represent you in court to resolve lawsuits or legal challenges to your Wills.
  • And ensure beneficiaries receive your remaining assets.

Finding Last Wills and Testaments

Last wills and testaments are precious documents. If you’ve been charged with finding a Will, ask loved ones, family or close friends where to look. Many Will writers make multiple Wills in their lifetime and their estate trustee or next-of-kin often know where they are.

Will Check or Storage Services
Many Ontario Wills and estates lawyers use a central Will Check service or store Wills for their clients. They often know where a deceased client kept their Will. Start your search with the law firm where the Will was drafted.

Going to Court to Get Wills
Next-of-kin or estate trustees can be taken to court for withholding a Will. As long as you appear to have a financial interest in the estate, you can ask a civil court judge to order anyone who has a copy (real or not) to give it to you.

Wills in Land Records
Real estate owners may deposit Wills in Ontario land registry offices when land is their only asset. Check with the local land registry where they lived.

Finally, if you know there is a Will, but you just can’t find it, you can apply to an Ontario court for a certificate of appointment as estate trustee without a Will.

Your Legal Obligations as Guardian

As guardian, you are expected to act in the person’s best interests and give them the best quality of life possible. It’s your legal obligation to:

Separate your own and the person’s finances to prevent intermingling assets

Pay legitimate bills, debts and legal obligations they can afford

Collect income and benefits, such as pensions and GST refunds

File and pay taxes

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Convenient Appointments

Axess Law gives you the choice of booking an online or in-person appointment. Our lawyers are available 7 days a week, at times convenient for you. We can meet in person, by phone, email, or via a remote video call. In addition to these, there are 5 Axess Law offices located across the Greater Toronto Area – all with onsite parking or easily accessible by public transit.

Some FAQs

Axess Law shows you how to create single or multiple personal Wills to keep your assets and family safe.

1. List Assets for Your Will
Make a list of financial assets – bank accounts, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, GICs.
Add real estate – your matrimonial home, cottage, condo or waterfront lot.
Include electronics – TVs, computers, mobile devices, appliances, power tools or yard equipment.
Inventory collectibles – antiques, art, rare books or heirloom jewelry.
Decide what clothes or jewelery to bequeath to others.
Catalogue items to donate or dispose of.
Itemize benefits loved ones will receive when you die – life insurance, disability or health insurance, auto accident insurance, survivor’s pensions. Remember to list organizations you belong to in case they offer life insurance or disability benefits.
Record passwords for social media accounts and leave instructions to allow your next-of-kin to access them.

2. Organize Your Debts
Your estate trustee will notify creditors and pay debts after you die. We encourage you to record mortgage loans and home equity lines of credit, vehicle loans, credit cards, lines of credit and promissory notes. Asking Equifax for a free credit report can capture anything you overlooked.

3. Make a Contact List
Who will your estate trustee contact when you die? Include your bank branch, investment brokers, insurance representatives, former employers, Canada Pension Plan, condo strata manager and anyone who holds or manages assets for you.

4. Name Benefactors and Charities
Inform your executor of benefactors and charities you would like possessions or estate gifts to go to. Your estate trustee will use this contact information to distribute your estate according to your wishes.

5. Write Multiple Wills for Complex Estates
Complex estates require careful planning. Making multiple Wills separates personal and business assets. Axess Law’s Wills professionals ensure your Ontario Will is legally valid, reducing the chances it will be successfully challenged in court after you’re gone.

At Axess Law, we make individual Wills for married or common law couples. Having separate Wills gives you and your spouse more flexibility. You can make joint appointments to update a personal Will or, if you are new to Axess Law, have us make changes without your spouse’s involvement. A reminder that comingling assets with spouses or common law partners through joint bank accounts or co-signed mortgage loans makes it difficult to divide property if you separate or divorce. You may have to prove you are the sole owner of a gift your family meant only for you or calculate appreciation on assets you owned before you became a couple.
When you appoint an estate trustee, they handle arrangements like applying for the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) $2,500 death benefit that relieve the burden on loved ones. Your dependants may qualify for survivor’s benefits from CPP for married spouses or common law partners and minors up to 18 (25 for full-time students). Low-income spouses or partners 60 to 64 can apply for the Old Age Security survivor allowance. Your estate trustee can advise your dependents on how to apply or apply on their behalf. Your Will must provide for spouses and minor or dependant children and parents after you die. Anyone you supported or had a legal obligation to support immediately before your death can petition your estate or the court for financial support if they are left out. Our estate planning attorneys can counsel you on how to structure Wills to meet mandatory support obligations.
Your estate may qualify for government assistance with basic funeral expenses or other benefits and waiver of estate administration taxes. Unless you have a Will, your next-of-kin may have to appear in court to claim benefits that are rightfully theirs. Worse yet, without a Will, government legislation will determine how your assets are distributed. You may not agree with their decisions, but your next-of-kin will have no choice but to accept it. If you have no surviving relatives at all, government may take your estate, robbing you of the chance to leave it to favourite charities.
Your estate trustee must distribute your Will exactly as written in your original Will or any amendments you made to a last Will and testament. Only a court order can overturn your final instructions. You can rest easy knowing most judges are reluctant to overturn personal Wills without substantial evidence a Will is fraudulent or you lacked the mental capacity to understand it.
Axess Will can store your final Will for a one-time payment of $29.99 plus HST per Will. Or you can date, sign and make copies to leave with spouses, partners, trusted next-of-kin or friend and your estate trustee. Alternatively, we recommend storing the original in a safety deposit box for safe keeping and giving the location and key to your estate trustee. Depending on their size, safety deposit boxes cost between $50 and $400 a year. For extra security, Wills can also be filed with an Ontario court for a one-time fee of $20.

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