When planning for baby, many things come to mind that need to be put in place before your little one arrives. Baby clothes, diapers, somewhere to sleep are usually the first things that come to mind. One of the most imporant items to have for your baby, is you & your partner’s Will.
1. Why should you have a Will?
There are so many reasons. Here are just a few. A will is the only way to make sure that your wishes are carried out after you pass away. You can control who looks after your estate and what assets go to various beneficiaries. You can avoid the time and expense and arguments that go along with having to have the court appoint an administrator to take care of the estate. You can decide at what age the beneficiaries will receive their inheritance. You can leave bequests to organizations or charities. You can set up trust arrangements. You can decide who will take care of minor children. You can avoid family arguments over specific possessions. You can divide the estate in unequal portions. You can disinherit certain relatives. You can specify powers and discretions of the executors. You can do estate planning to minimize taxes and probate fees. I could do a whole seminar just on this one question alone.
2. What happens if I don’t have a Will and something happens to me?
Without a will, there is no executor to look after the estate. Someone will have to apply to the court to be appointed an administrator. That involves time and expense, and sometimes family disputes. Your assets will be frozen until it is finalized, and then distributed according to a strict formula which is probably not the way you would have wanted it. Shares of any minor children will be held in trust for them by a government office. Unmarried partners will not be entitled to any share of the estate. Basically, it can create a mess.
3. What should I include in my Will?
You should name an executor, and also an alternate executor in case the first one is unable or unwilling or predeceases you. You should specify your wishes as to who should take care of minor children. You should set out exact names of beneficiaries and exactly what their inheritance is. You should set out what happens to a beneficiary’s inheritance if that beneficiary predeceases you. You should include exact legal names of any organizations or charities that will benefit from the will. You should set out terms of any trust arrangements. You should set out the duties and the powers of the executor. You should explain any reasons for disinheriting a beneficiary. These are general items, but there are also other specific items that should be included depending on the details of the estate and the situations of the people involved. It should be a customized document, not a generic one.
4. Why should I have a Lawyer do my Will instead of doing it myself?
Again, there are so many reasons. For example, you might not have it signed and witnessed properly according to the legal requirements, which will cause the entire will or certain parts of it to become invalid. You might leave out all sorts of important information because there was no lawyer to ask you questions about certain issues that you might not have even thought about. You might use contradictory language. You might misdescribe someone or something. You might use vague wording, instead of exact terminology, which would end up with a court having to decide what was really meant, with all the time and expense involved in that. The legal fee for a typical will is not expensive. A few hundred dollars wisely spent can save your loved ones thousands of dollars later and many years of aggravation and heartache and ruined relationships.
5. What is Phil’s favourite song to perform?
That depends on who the audience is, and what mood I am in that day. But it would usually be a Beatles song no matter what.
PHIL TINIANOV graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1976, and was called to the Bar of the Province of Ontario in 1978. He is the sole proprietor of his own Law Practice, acting on behalf of banks, financial institutions, large corporations, small businesses, and individuals. He has also done pro bono work for various charities throughout his career. All clients are treated with courtesy, friendliness, and respect, no matter how large or small the case may be. If scheduling an appointment during business hours is difficult, then he is always available to see clients during evenings and weekends. Phil previously taught part-time at Seneca College on behalf of The Institute of Law Clerks of Ontario, and has also given free seminars in schools, libraries, and community centres on legal issues of concern to the public, as well as serving on Boards of Trustees of charities and religious organizations. On a personal level, Phil is married to the beautiful Melanie, and they have three sons, one daughter, one son-in-law, and a granddaughter. When not busy with work and family, Phil is a singer and guitar player and music collector.
To get started on your family’s Will, contact info for Philip Tinianov is below:
PHILIP TINIANOV, Barrister & Solicitor
4950 Yonge Street, Suite 2200,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M2N6K1