The Dangers of Not Having a Will (2.5 min)

Kenneth Pope discusses the trouble that happens when you don't have a will in place.

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Video Transcript:

Half of the population in Canada doesn't have a will and this can be very untidy because it leads to an intestacy, inheritance by succession law. Inheritance subject to matrimonial claims or spousal priority interests.

So it's much better to have a will, but if you feel that you really don't want to do it because you have a general morbid aversion, and you think that if you do a will you'll die. Then what will happen is: if you don't have a spouse your children will receive equally, and this includes the child with disabilities or special needs.  So there won't be a Henson trust for that child... there won't be a trustee to manage it. And if there is a spouse then the spouse has a spousal claim to an adjusted one-half interest of your total estate. Or if they prefer, a priority claim to the first two hundred thousand, and then the spouse and your children share the rest equally.

You can see this is very very untidy, it certainly will involve a probate application and estate administration tax, or what are called probate fees, there will, of course, be legal fees involved in this process.

It's extremely untidy and expensive, whereas if you have a will you can either avoid probate in a lot of cases, or if you do have to have probate, the estate is settled in a simple and straightforward manner.
People receive what you want them to receive and the proportions you want them to receive it and the trusts are set up for a child with special needs. This is a much better procedure.

There's all sorts of information about intestacy's and all of it is a horror story, but if that's the way that it proceeds as half the population will proceed then... Well, of course, that will make the lawyers richer as well and with that happy note if you'd like to discuss this further please give me a call.

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