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Wills & Estate Planning

Wills & Estate Planning

Estate planning is about securing the financial future of your family and loved ones and having the satisfaction of knowing that your wealth, businesses, and any other assets are protected in the event of your death or incapacity.

At LD Law, we have years of experience helping our clients create a customized Estate Plan to achieve their specific goals. We work with our clients to secure and protect their current finances and assets and help them create a plan that will benefit their loved ones in the future without going through a lengthy probate process or incurring unnecessary taxes. We also assist our clients in preparing powers of attorney for their property and personal care in case of future incapacity.

Our Will and Estate lawyers in Toronto also assist executors, or estate trustees, navigate the probate process seamlessly, including when obtaining a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee with or without a Will and administration of estates.

To put a carefully customized Estate Plan in place or execute one, call LD Law at 416-747-9900 or contact us online.

Importance of Making an Estate Plan

At LD Law, we help you create a comprehensive Estate Plan tailored to fulfill your specific needs. A well-thought plan, which includes a Will, a durable power of attorney for your property, a personal care power of attorney, designated beneficiaries and more, can help you fulfil several important objectives. Some of them include:

  • Establishing Control

If you pass away or become incapacitated without a well-established plan on how you wish to distribute your wealth, who you want to take over your business, your medical care plan, or who should take care of your minor children, things may not go your way. Without a Will, the probate court decides who gets what, which may not align with what you wanted.

  • Helps expedite the probate process

Having a Will and an Estate Plan makes the probate process simpler and more streamlined. It spares your family a cumbersome and lengthy court process and saves time.

  • Helps Save Money

Without an Estate Plan, your family will incur high court costs, appraisal fees, legal fees and high taxes, among other expenses. Having a comprehensive Estate Plan in place helps transition your business and wealth to intended beneficiaries in a tax-efficient manner while avoiding a costly probate process.

Based on your estate, business, intentions and family, there are many advantages to having an Estate Plan in place. Let our Wills and Estate planning lawyers work with you to tailor a comprehensive plan that meets your current and future needs.

Our Team

Our Expert Lawyers at LD Law

David Baptista Dos Reis Real Estate Lawyers - Ld Law

David Baptista dos Reis

Real Estate Lawyer

Daniel La Gamba - Real Estate Lawyers - Ld Law

Daniel La Gamba

Real Estate Lawyer

We are expert at

Our Services

Will Drafting

Wills are crucial parts of any Estate Plan as they greatly impact the lives of your family members and loved ones. They allow the grantor to make their wishes known upon death or incapacity (Living wills). Without a Will, your business, wealth and assets may not go to the people you had in mind.

At LD Law, we help our clients draft and prepare detailed Wills that meet their specific goals and clearly state their wishes, including their chosen executor, guardians for their minor children, and distribution of property.

Keep in mind that a Will and Estate Plan reflects your wishes per the current situation, and it’s important to review and update them if the circumstances change. For example, you should update your Estate Plan and Will if:

  • tax rules change
  • you marry or divorce
  • a beneficiary or trustee dies
  • major changes to property or wealth occur, e.g., purchasing a real estate property
  • a spouse or child dies

Succession Planning

Succession planning is important for companies and family-run businesses. A well-considered and carefully drafted succession plan helps you protect and preserve your legacy and business and secure your loved ones’ financial future. It also ensures that vital leadership positions in your company have ready candidates to fill them in case any of the current leaders depart, retire or fall ill, maintaining the stability of your company.

At LD Law, our highly skilled lawyers work with you to draft a custom succession plan that helps you put the right people in the right positions when the need arises. With our experience, we help you create a plan that minimizes any possible legal and financial pitfalls for your family and business while maximizing wealth transfer and business growth.

Probate and Estate Administration

Probate is the court process that confirms a will’s validity and grants the named executor the authority to act on the deceased’s behalf. Where there is no Will, the executor is appointed by the court.

The executor, or estate administrator, is in charge of estate administration, i.e., the distribution of the estate per the Will or intestacy rules (where there’s no Will), paying any pending taxes and debts, and settling other estate matters.

The probate application process and estate administration can be overwhelming and challenging for a family after losing a loved one. Our experienced Toronto estate lawyers can ease the stress by assisting you in the probate process and administering the estate. Our team can help you:

  • Apply to Court for the Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee
  • Distribute the estate to the beneficiaries
  • Interpret estate documents
  • Ensure accurate accounting of the deceased assets
  • Pay the necessary taxes
  • Arrange executor / estate trustee insurance

FAQs

Frequently Asked Question

Well, there’s no legal requirement to have a Will. But, the implications of dying without one can be immense for your family and loved ones, including creating a rift between them as they fight for your estate. Therefore, if you have assets and a family, it is vital to have a Will in place. If you don't have a family but have assets, you can still draft a Will on how you want your wealth distributed to charities or friends.

No. There's no legal requirement to retain a lawyer to prepare your Will in Ontario.

However, even when drafting a simple Will, the professional services of a skilled lawyer in Toronto can come in handy. An attorney understands the ins and outs of estate law and can help you avoid possible pitfalls for your beneficiary and business. They can help you draft an entire Estate Plan, including a professional Will, that protects your business, minimizes payable taxes, maximizes your wealth for distribution and ensures that your estate is distributed per your wishes.

If you die without leaving a valid Will, your estate is distributed per the Law of Intestacy as detailed in the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act.

Normally, surviving spouses and children take priority on the deceased’s property. If there is no spouse or children, then the deceased’s parents and then the brothers and sisters inherit the estate.

Here’s how the property is distributed when there is no Will:

  • The spouse is usually entitled to a preferential share of the property - $350,000 per the 2021 reform. If the deceased estate is $350,000 or less in value, the spouse inherits all of it. If the property is more than $350,000 in value, the spouse is entitled to the first $350,000, and then the rest is divided equally between the children and the spouse.
  • Surviving spouse and no children – the spouse inherits the entirety of the deceased's estate.
  • No spouse and no children – the estate is inherited by your grandchildren (if any), and if there are none, then your parents inherit your estate equally. If there are no surviving parents, your sisters and brothers receive the estate equally. In other words, your next of kin, as determined by the Succession Law Reform Act, receive your estate.

The cost of making a Will in Toronto depends on whether you draft the Will yourself, buy a Will kit, or utilize the services of a skilled Will and Estate lawyer. Although preparing a Will yourself sounds like a good idea because you won’t spend a dime, it can be quite costly for your business and family’s future if it’s not properly written and, therefore, not legally valid.

On the other hand, buying a Will kit is good if you’re looking to draft a standard will. In some cases, however, people fail to complete the Will kits as instructed, rendering their Wills invalid when they die.

With an experienced lawyer, every aspect of your Will and Estate Plan is covered, minimizing possible risks to your business, legal issues and family’s financial future. A carefully drafted and implemented Will is a long-term investment, and it ensures that your estate is distributed per your wishes. By relying on the professional service of a lawyer, you'll have peace of mind knowing that your Will is legally valid.

A codicil is a document used to make amendments to an existing Will. It is typically used to make minor changes, such as removing or adding a beneficiary, replacing a few clauses or changing the amount of money a beneficiary will receive.

Although there are no limits to when a codicil can be used, it’s not favourable to use it when making major changes to a Will.

Note that if a codicil is used, the executor and beneficiaries may have access to both the Will and codicil and can see the changes you made.

Contact Toronto Wills and Estate Lawyers at LD Law

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Having an Estate Plan goes a long way in protecting your business, legacy and loved ones’ financial future. Our highly experienced Toronto Wills and Estate lawyers help clients establish and implement a customized plan that safeguards their business and family in the event that they are not able to.

Call us today at  416-747-9900 for a consultation with our team.