Laroux is an Estate Planning lawyer with a personal touch.
November is Make a Will Month, a good reminder for those who need to make their first Will or do an update.
Laroux is a Wills & Estates lawyer who has spent the past six years making estate plans for individuals and families and administering estates. It is in the administration process, that Laroux has seen the value of dying with a Will and, more specifically, dying with a properly lawyer drafted one. Homemade wills, while a well-meaning attempt to save costs, can cause significant additional cost and delay to an estate if the wording needs to be clarified.
It is most important to do a Will in order to decide where you would like your assets to go and who you would like to manage your affairs. If you don’t there is a legal order dictated by the Succession Law Reform Act (“SLRA”). This is especially important if you are in a common-law relationship as common law partners are not in the list of beneficiaries under the SLRA. For example if you were to die leaving a common law spouse and parents and no children, your parents under the SLRA inherit everything.
In addition, dying without a Will in many cases requires your loved one to apply for a Certificate of Estate Trustee Without a Will (also known as the probate process). In COVID-19, this process in Toronto has been greatly delayed. Applications that used to take four months have been taking double that time and many executors are paying significant upfront costs to manage the estate in the interim.
The added value of doing your Will with an estates lawyer is that in addition to drafting your Will, they will go over your beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations are a crucial component to the estate planning process. They can be the difference between having to probate an estate or not, having to litigate an estate or not. Designating an asset, when done properly, allows that asset to pass outside the estate making it not subject to probate and creditors. A carefully crafted estate plan will account for tax consequences ensuring that the estate has sufficient liquidity to pay the tax liabilities.
So don’t delay, get your estate plans made or make them up to date!
Laroux’s professional details can be accessed on her website: https://www.peopleslaw.ca/