The Structure Of A WILL

Les Kotzer
http://www.leskotzer.com

Les Kotzer

Call: Local:      905.881.1500
Toll Free:        1.877.439.3999
or E-Mail         leskotzer@leskotzer.com

Your WILL should be tailor made to your own particular life situation and should comply with all the formalities set out by Ontario Law. Generally speaking, a professionally drafted WILL is composed of several parts:

1. The WILL must identify the person making it. If people commonly address you by a name other than the name on your Birth Certificate, you should tell your Lawyer to insert both names in your WILL in order to properly identify you and avoid problems for your beneficiaries. An example to illustrate this point would be: Charles Brooks, also known as Chuck Brooks.

2. Generally speaking, your WILL should revoke any prior WILLS or Codicils which you have made. However, there are exceptions to this general rule: There are unique estate situations where two WILLS operating simultaneously are required in order to fulfill certain specialized requirements. An example would be where a person has substantial assets in different countries and may require a WILL in each of these jurisdictions. This is a matter which should be discussed with your Lawyer, if you have concerns about this situation.

3. The WILL should appoint a Primary Executor, or if applicable, your executors to pay or settle legitimate debts, claims and taxes owed by you before any assets are distributed to your beneficiaries under your WILL.

4. The WILL should instruct your Executor, or if applicable, your Executors to pay or settle legitimate debts, claims and taxes owed by you before any assets are distributed to your beneficiaries under your WILL.

5. The WILL can distribute certain personal items, gifts of money or other assets all of which are often referred to as legacies, to certain people whom you name to receive such legacies.

6. The WILL should dispose of what is known as the Residue of your Estate. The Residue consists of what is left over after all the debts and taxes have been paid and all the legacies have been distributed. Every WILL must have a Residue Clause.

7. The WILL should provide for guardianship of your minor children, where applicable.

8. The WILL should grant powers to your Executors to enable them to look after your Estate in an efficient manner.

9. Your WILL should contain a clause commonly known as Family Law Clause. This clause is very comforting to parents. In essence, the clause protects the income generated by your married child’s inheritance, in the event that child is involved in a marriage breakdown after death.

Some people trivialize WILLS to the extent of trying to write their own WILLS without obtaining Legal advice. Many people do not appreciate the complexities involved in this area of the Law. Drafting your own homemade WILL may be journey fraught with danger because the result may be an invalid WILL, and a potential nightmare for your family.

Les Kotzer is a Wills lawyer with the law firm of Fish and Associates at 7951 Yonge Street in Thornhill. Les is a regular call in guest on the Barb DiGiulio show on Newstalk 1010. He has also appeared on CNN and was featured as a Canadian success story on the CTV National News. In 2013, Les was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubileee Medal for his work in Wills and helping to educate the public.

Les is pleased to offer a free Will review for those who have a Will and are not sure if it is up to date. He also offers a free will consultation, if you do not have a Will and are not sure where to start. To book a will appointment with Les you can call his office at 905-881-1500. You can also email him for an appointment at les@leskotzer.com. For more information, please visit leskotze.com or willappointment.com You can also email him for an appointment at

For more information, please visit leskotzer.com or willappointment.com