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When owning REAL ESTATE in Orangeville, Caledon, or anywhere in Ontario, it is important to be protected and protect the ones you love.

 Do You Have a Will?  

5 Reasons You May Need a Will NOW!!

1. You have a Common Law Spouse: If you live with that special someone but are not married, you need to prepare a Will to ensure that they are well provided for after you die. When you die without a Will, your estate is distributed in accordance with provincial law. The relevant law provides an inheritance for a surviving married spouse but does not provide anything for a surviving common law spouse.

2. You are separated but not divorced: If you die without a Will, the law provides your surviving spouse with a preferential share in your estate in the amount of $200,000 and will split any remainder with your children. If you do not have children, then your spouse will receive everything. The problem is that a spouse is defined as man and woman who are married to one another and it doesn't make any difference if you are separated and no longer live together.

3. You bought and completed a "Home Will Kit": In my experience, people find these kits very difficult and confusing to complete. Worse, many people do not even realize when they have made a mistake that could or would make the Will void.

4. You have made a verbal gift: Nothing seems to spawn more estate battles than when the deceased makes a verbal promise to make a gift but does not put it in a Will. What's worse is that a verbal gift can be incredibly difficult to prove and often the recipient never does get anything. If you want to be sure that a gift is completed, the only safe bet is to put it in a Will.

5. You are young: It is amazing how many people feel that they do not need a Will because they are young or they have no assets. Young people are starting out careers, buying property, getting married, having kids and acquiring assets all the time. As death cannot usually be predicted, a Will should be in place to anticipate and accompany all of that growth and should not be an afterthought. In addition, a Will can anticipate marriage or children and nominate a guardian for those children.

Bonus Reason

You own real estate as a tenant-in-common. There are two ways people can co-own real estate with other people: as joint tenants or as tenants-in-common. Spouses usually elect to own property as joint tenants because it has a right of survivorship. A right of survivorship means that if one of the owners dies, the remaining owners take title absolutely, regardless of whether there is a Will. Owning property as a tenant-in-common, however, does not carry these same rights. If a tenant-in-common dies, then his or her estate inherits the ownership in the real estate and it would then be dealt with accordingly. Having a Will ensures that the real estate will be dealt with according to your wishes. This can arise more than you might think. For example, sometimes parents will go on title as a tenant-in-common to real estate owned by one of their children in connection to co-signing for a mortgage/loan. In this scenario, you would likely want to be certain that if you pass away, the real estate would remain with the co-owner.

For more information about Wills or Powers of Attorney, please contact:

Jason A. Self, B.A. (Hons), L.L.B.

Stutz & Associates

269 Broadway

Orangeville, ON, L9W 1K8

Tel: 519-941-7500

Fax: 519-941-8381

email: jself@wstutzlaw.com

web: www.wstutzlaw.com

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