Wills, Estates & Trusts
At Catherine A. Egboye Law Office we emphasize the importance of drafting a will. By drafting a will you are protecting loved ones and ensuring your wishes are adhered to after your passing. We draft wills and powers of attorney, review business succession plans and create guardianship if required.
Our Wills, Estates & Trust Law Practice includes the following:
- Estate Planning including Wills & Trusts Preparation
- Powers of Attorney
- Administration of Estates & Trust and Estate Litigation
- Business Trusts and Business Wills
- Probating Wills
- Henson Trusts
- Incapacity and Elder Law
- Ownership Issues
- Assistance for Executors & Attorneys
Reasons You Need a Legal Will
i) Without a will, distribution of your assets and property, even if your wishes are known, may not be carried out the way you would have wanted it.
ii) Your estate and distribution of assets will take longer and could be more expensive
iii) Without your wishes legally documented, discrepancies as to who should get what could occur
iv) Guardianship of any children will not have been established and appropriate guardians may not have been named
DYING WITHOUT A WILL
Dying without a Will (called dying intestate) can be a problem for three reasons.
First, your property will be divided according to the law, which may not be the same as how you would have divided it.
Second, no one will have been appointed by you to be the Executor. An application will have to be made to the Court to appoint someone to act as your Executor.
Third, there will be extra time delays and expenses involved in wrapping up your estate.
The law that deals with the distribution of the estate of a person who dies without a Will, speaks only of a legal spouse. There is no provision made for the common-law spouse. If you are living common-law, you have to specifically provide for that person. If you are living common-law and die without a Will, the property will be distributed as though the common-law spouse were a complete stranger.
CHILDREN BORN OUTSIDE MARRIAGE
The law makes the rights of legitimate children and illegitimate children equal. Both are treated the same when an estate of a person who dies without a Will is being distributed.
It is important to update your estate plan. A well-drafted will anticipates different scenarios and plans for these (for example, what happens if an adult child or grandchild dies before you). But you should also think of changing your will whenever your financial or personal circumstances change or if there is a change in the beneficiaries. For example, if you made a will when your children were young and named your parents as guardian and executor, when your children become adults, you will no longer need the guardian clause and you might want your children or a sibling to be executor instead. It is good practice to review your will every three to five years to ensure that it still reflects your current situation and/or wishes. Also make sure to review your will after any change in your marital status If you marry, your will is automatically revoked unless the will says that it was made in contemplation of your new marriage. If you divorce, the portions of your will that involve your ex-spouse may no longer be valid.
Where should you keep your will?
You should store your original will in a safety deposit box at your bank so that you have a permanent, safe and fireproof location. Your original will is what your executor will need to file to the Probate Registry in future, NOT a copy.