Benefits of Having a Will in Ontario

 In Legal

Do you know the benefits of having a Will? Covid-19  has impacted the way people view their life and livelihood. The fear of getting sick and possibly dying from the virus has made people more protective and conscious of their legacies and the people they may leave behind.

In Ontario, if a person dies without a Will, he or she is said to have died intestate, and his or her estate will be distributed in accordance with the laws of intestacy which are set out in the Succession Law Reform Act (Ontario) (the “SLRA”).

Pursuant to the laws of intestacy, if someone dies without a Will and with a spouse and no children, the spouse is entitled to the deceased’s estate. If the deceased dies with a spouse and a child, the spouse is entitled to a preferential share (currently $200,000) and the remainder of the estate is divided equally between the spouse and the child. If, on death, the deceased had a spouse and two or more children, the spouse is entitled to the preferential share and the remainder is divided so that the spouse receives 1/3rd and the remaining 2/3rds is divided equally among the children. 

Other benefits:  You also get to dictate your funeral arrangements and make charitable gifts. 

How Estate Administration Tax is calculated in Ontario?  Probate fees are calculated on the value of the estate probated: $5 per $1,000 of estate assets up to $50,000, and. $15 per $1,000 of estate assets over $50,000

Strategies for smart Estate Planning for Tax purposes:

1. Designate beneficiaries. You’ll avoid probate fees on your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) and registered retirement income fund (RRIF) assets if you designate beneficiaries under those plans.

2. Joint ownership

3. Giving it away today

4. Establish multiple wills

5. Establish trusts.

What assets are excluded from Probate?

1. Jointly owned assets with a right of survivorship (JTWROS)

2. RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs with a named beneficiary other than ‘Estate’

3. Insurance proceeds paid to a named beneficiary other than ‘Estate’

4. Real estate owned outside of Ontario.

5. Gifts made during your life.

This article should not be considered legal advice, it is shared for educational purposes. For more information on estate planning and will drafting contact us today. We’re here to help. [email protected] Follow us for more updates @fbl_canada


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