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When You Should Update Your Will

There are sometimes in life when updating your will should be considered, the following are some key moments when such is recommended provided by Laroux Peoples, a sole practitioner working in association with our firm, meets with clients out of our WEL offices weekly providing the following services: Testamentary Planning, Will & Trust Drafting, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Guidance, Powers of Attorney, Estate Administration including Probate Applications, Advising Estate Trustees & Fiduciaries, and Legal Opinion.

 

  1. You Get Married – although marriage no longer automatically revokes a will in Ontario, it would still be a good idea to revaluate your will when you are newly married.
  2. You Get Divorced – a will made before a divorce is interpreted as though the ex-spouse died prior to the testator’s death however again, with a major change in one’s life, it would be sensible to meet with me to look at your overall plan, to ensure your to ensure your up-to-date wishes are reflected in your planning.
  3. You Are a Dual US/Can Citizen or US citizen living in Canada and did not Get Tax/Estate Advice – if you did your estate plan previously with someone who did not suggest you get cross border advice, you may wish to see someone now who can assist, especially if you are not planning on renouncing your US citizenship. My colleague Canada/U.S. Cross-border Tax, Trust and Estate Planning Lawyer Michael Cirone explains how American citizens living in Canada who are selling their principal residence should get proper advice to avoid U.S Capital Gains Tax in his recent article. You can find his article here.
  4. You Became a Parent – you’re going to want to ensure there is a guardian in place for your new addition to your family; especially if your previous will does not account for unborn children. Updating your will when you become a parent also gives you the opportunity to add them as a beneficiary of the estate. If you did your first will with me and you have more children now then when we first met, you should not need an update in most cases.
  5. Changes to Your Financial Situation – you want your will to reflect your most current final situation whether you have either gained an asset or lost/sold an asset. If certain assets that are no longer in your possession are mentioned in the will, you will want to take those out.
  6. Changes to the Individuals Named in Your Will – if someone named in your will is no longer available, by way of death, incapacity or simply a change of heart it is important to make new appointments for estate trustee or guardian as soon as possible or to take out beneficiaries that you no longer wish to gift to.
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