Wills vs. Estate Planning

When wills are being done in our law offices, we focus strictly on methods of distribution of whatever assets you own at the time of death (rather than using estate planning methods for tax reduction, for which you should consult an estate planning specialist). No one can predict the future regarding whether one might end up, (at the time of death), with $5 million or $5 in net assets.

An example of a typical formula for distribution of assets by a husband and wife (married for the first time) with 2 children would be that each spouse leaves everything to the other spouse, but if both die (for example, in a common accident) all assets are left to children in equal shares to be held in trust for such children until each is of an age specified by you (we normally recommend age 21). Until such age, the trustee(s) (named by you) can use funds for the education, health and welfare of your children.

NOTE: Of course, you can develop your own formula for distribution of assets since the above-mentioned formula is only an example. Wills can be changed any time (before death, of course!).


  • A will that has been totally handwritten and signed by the deceased (no typed or pre-printed sections or paragraphs) is valid in Ontario.
  • A will done by way of a video is NOT valid in Ontario.
  • A surviving spouse (if there is no will) in Ontario is entitled to the first $200,000 of estate assets, and any amount over $200,000 is shared equally between the surviving spouse and children.
  • A common law spouse (including a same sex partner) does not have the same rights to share in the assets of the deceased (where there was no will) as do married spouses, as noted above.


It is common for people to delay in preparing a will, however it is a wise investment to prepare one early, especially if you own or are purchasing real estate.  It is worthwhile to spend minimal legal fees to prepare a will in comparison to the additional time and costs that can be incurred in administering an estate where there is no will.

At our law offices, our Will Package Legal Fee is $385.00 + HST


Tel: 416-520-6120

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