What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate during a person’s life. It involves the transfer of assets, property and money from an individual to their heirs upon death. Estate planning typically includes setting up wills, trusts and other legal documents that specify how assets should be distributed after an individual passes away. Estate planning can also involve creating powers of attorney (POAs) which enable a designated party to make financial decisions on behalf of the individual if they become unable to do so themselves. Additionally, estate planning can involve creating plans for long-term care in case of unexpected health events.
Types of Estates in Ontario
An intestate estate is an estate where assets are distributed according to the laws of Ontario if a valid will was not made. Intestate estates occur when a person dies without leaving behind a valid will or other legal documents that define how their assets should be divided after death. Under Ontario law, family members such as spouses, children, parents and siblings are entitled to receive equal shares of the deceased’s assets in an intestate estate. If no living family members survive, then the deceased’s assets may transfer to the government.
A testate estate is one where a valid will has been created before the person’s death, and assets are distributed according to the instructions outlined in that will. In Ontario, any written document can be recognized as a valid will if certain criteria are met such as being signed by two witnesses who are present at the time of signing. The instructions provided in this document are legally binding on how assets should be divided after death. If any of these instructions conflict with Ontario law, then the court may step in and make changes as necessary.
A joint estate is one in which two or more people jointly own assets, such as a house, car or bank account. All parties must agree on how to manage the assets and any decisions made affecting them. When one of the owners dies, their portion of the joint estate is passed to their beneficiary according to their will or if they died intestate, then it passes to their family members according to Ontario law. It should be noted that if two joint owners die at the same time, then each one’s portion of the estate will be divided among their respective beneficiaries.
Law Related to Estates in Ontario
Estates in Ontario are governed by the Estates Administration Act, which sets out the rules and regulations for how assets should be divided upon death. It covers matters such as probate applications, executors duties, estate trustees’ responsibilities and various other issues related to intestacy and testacy. The Act also provides guidance on how property may be distributed from an estate, what deductions may be made from assets of the estate or when assets should go to surviving family members. The courts have significant authority in interpreting and administering the provisions of this law.
Why Get an Estate Planner from Tailor Law?
Getting an estate planner from Tailor Law can provide you with peace of mind that your assets and wishes are taken care of with personalized planning. An estate planner from Tailor Law will work to understand your goals and develop an estate plan that meets your needs and suits your unique situation. They will also provide advice on estate law in Ontario, assist you in creating a will and explain how taxes may affect the distribution of assets. With the help of Tailor Law’s experienced team, you can rest assured that your plan is sound and future-proofed.
Common Services Provided by an Estate Planner from Tailor Law
An estate planner from Tailor Law can help you with a range of services related to estates in Ontario. They can create a will and testament which is tailored to your specific needs, review any existing estate documents, provide advice on estate planning laws, calculate the value of an estate, determine whether a trust is needed, draft and file probate applications, advise on appointing executors or trustees and many other services. The Tailor Law team can also act as executors if requested.
Questions to Ask When Hiring an Estate Planner
When hiring an estate planner in Ontario it is important to ask the right questions. Ask about their experience in Estate Planning and if they are familiar with the relevant laws and regulations in Ontario. Inquire about their process for creating a will or testament, as well as any additional services they offer that might be helpful. Get an understanding of how quickly they can develop your plan and how often you can expect updates. Find out what happens after the initial plan has been created—do they provide ongoing support for changes and updates? Lastly, ask about fees to ensure there are no hidden costs down the line.
Best Practices for Working with an Estate Planner from Tailor Law
Before consulting with an estate planner, ensure you have a clear understanding of your estate planning needs and all the relevant facts about your current situation, such as marital status, number of children, assets, debts and any other important considerations. Research the various laws and regulations that might apply to your particular situation. Document all of this information before meeting with an estate planner so that the process is efficient and effective. Be honest about what you want the outcome of your plan to be and make sure that it’s in line with your values and wishes. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask questions if anything remains unclear or if there are any concerns during the process.