Ensure that you are aware of the advantages of a notarized will. The absence of a properly executed will at the time of death greatly diminishes the purpose of estate planning, because a will is the key element in the settlement of any estate. Did you know that if you die without leaving a will, the law decides to whom and in what proportions your assets will be divided?
It must be entirely written and signed by hand by the testator. or dies.
No validation by a witness is required for its authentication.
The testator may or may not be the only person aware of its contents.
The testator must nonetheless inform a friend or loved one of where the will is kept so that it can be found at the time of death.
This will is often incomplete.
It requires verification by a notary or a court after the testator’s death, which can result in significant expense and delay.
This type of will can be written by hand by the testator, but may also be written using a computer.
It’s possible to have it written by another person, as long as they are over age 18.
To be legal, the will must be signed by the testator and two adult witnesses.
If the document is written on a computer, the testator and the two witnesses must initial each of the pages for the will to be official.
The testator must reveal the place where the document is kept so that it can be found at the time of death.
This will involves a waiting period between the death and the liquidation of the estate.
The writing of this will can give rise to different interpretations.
This will also necessitate verification by a notary or a court after the testator’s death.
This type of will is written by a notary who, in addition to knowing the importance of correct wording, advises clients so that they don’t forget anything in their will. It’s true that a notarized will is more expensive; however, the costs could prove to be very little compared to the court costs resulting from contesting the will.
The notary, the testator, and the witnesses must sign the document to validate it.
A notarized will leaves no ambiguity as to the interpretation of a client’s last wishes.
The original document is kept in a safe place to guarantee its durability
This will takes effect upon death.
It ensures optimal estate and tax planning
Your Last Will and Testament allows you to speak after you have passed away. It does absolutely nothing and has no powers whatsoever all the time you are alive. But as soon as you die your Will has two key functions: it allows you to make key appointments and it allows you to describe the distribution of your assets. These assets include money, possessions, houses, investments, everything that you own.
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Under the Income Tax Act, couples in common-law partnerships are subject to the same legal rules as married couples. However, the Civil Code of Québec does not recognize common-law partners in legal devolution and estate law. The transfer of property to these spouses must therefore be expressly stated in the will, or they will receive nothing.
No discussion of tax-planning of a will would be complete without a brief mention of probate tax (or, as it is referred to in Ontario, “estate administration tax”). In essence, probate planning is aimed at reducing the value of the estate that passes to the personal representative. Probate tax is proportional to the value of the estate, so the tower the value of the estate, the lower the probate tax that will be payable. Reducing the value of the estate can be achieved through the use of multiple wills and a variety of will substitutes. However, it is worth noting that many of the more popular probate planning techniques (such as transferring assets to an alter ego trust or into joint tenancy with the intended beneficiary) present significant potential pitfalls, not least of which is that they can hinder effective tax planning. For example: