Having an up-to-date will is essential to ensuring your estateEstate The total sum of money and property you leave behind when you die.+ read full definition is distributed as you intend it, and that your death doesn’t create a legal and administrative burden to your family.
If you die without a will, a court will appoint someone to administer your estate and distribute the assets according to a formula set out in provincial estate and family laws.
4 disadvantages of dying without will
- The person looking after your estate may not be the one you would have chosen to handle your affairs.
- The provincial distributionDistribution A payment you get from a mutual fund or company stock. Funds must distribute any capital gains to shareholders at least once a year. This payment can take the form of cash or additional units. Some companies offer Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs).+ read full definition formula may not reflect your wishes.
- Your estate may have to pay higher taxes.
- The process of settling your estate will likely be more costly and time consuming.
No will? Here’s how your estate will be divided
For example, in Ontario, if you die without a will and have a spouse and 2 children, your spouse will receive $200,000 plus one-third of the value of the estate over $200,000. Your children will each receive one-third of the value of the estate over $200,000.
So if your estate is worth $500,000, your spouse will receive $300,000 and each child will receive $100,000.
A will must be properly executed to be valid.