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Law 2101 - Mar. 13.docx

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Western University
Law 2101

Law 2101 Thursday March 12 Powers of Attorney, Wills and Estates Law Wills and Estates • Wills are effective upon death o Powers of attorney during lifetime • Source of law: Succession Law Reform Act • Formal Requirements – wills must be: o In writing (you can’t have a verbal will) o Signed by testator (the person making the will) at end of will o Two witnesses present at the same time • Exception: Holograph Wills o Handwritten by the testator and signed without witnesses o eg. a man was trapped under a tractor and wrote a will on the side of the tractor (“I leave everything to my wife…”), which was accepted • The witness or witness’ spouse cannot be the beneficiary unless the Court is satisfied there is no undue influence • Executor may witness will Wills are revoked by: • Marriage unless the will states it is in contemplation of marriage o If you get married, the will is revoked (and all of the person’s assets will go to the spouse/children unless they draft a new will) o This is important to consider in second marriages o If the will drafted before marriage says that it is in contemplation of marriage, it will still stand • A new will • Document in writing revokes the will (same formal requirements as will) o The revocation must be signed by two witnesses • Destruction of will with intent of revoking it (not accidental) Sample Will (PW-14) • Revocation • Estate Trustee (Executor or Executrix) o You could also place a trust company as your executor o You could appoint more than 1 executor (but it can complicate things if you have too many) o You may want to name an alternate executor (eg. if they predecease you or can’t act) o Most people name their spouse and/or children • Powers of Estate Trustee o They are stepping into the shoes of the deceased person, and have to follow the instructions you provide in the will o You have to give them powers to carry out your wishes • Residue and alternative beneficiaries o The residue is the balance of the estate o You can bequest an item or a legacy (cash) to a certain individual o No one gets anything from the will until all debts are paid  Income tax continues to be owed until the end of the year (even if it is months after your death) o It is a good idea to have an alternate beneficiary for the residue if the main beneficiary dies first • Minor beneficiaries o Often people will put into their will to have money held in a trust by the Trustee until a minor turns 18 o You can also specify certain things the money can be used for until that age (eg.
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