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Wills and estate planning

Five things every will should cover Add to ...

Your will should include more than just who gets what – it should also contain information about who will carry out your wishes.

Five key things your will should cover

1. Basic information about you

This includes your name, your address and the date you signed the will. Your will should also state that it is your last will and that it takes the place of any will you made before.

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2. The name of your executor

An executor is called an estate trustee in Ontario. This is the person you name to carry out your wishes.

3. Your executor’s right to manage your estate

You should give your executor the right to manage your estate and pay your debts and final costs, such as your mortgage, loan payments, funeral expenses and final income taxes.

4. How you want your assets distributed

Your will should state who gets what from your savings and property, including your home, investments and cash. It should cover all the things you own, such as cars, furniture, pictures and jewelry.

5. A guardian for your children

If you have children who depend on you for support, you should name a guardian in case both you and your spouse or partner die at the same time. While your designation is not legally binding, it lets the court know who you want to care for your children. This will likely be factored into the court’s final decision.


Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca

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