Ten Things Which You May Not Have Known…but may need to rectify when you make a Will

By: Christine Manners

Partner, HGR Graham Partners LLP


Do you have a will? Are you thinking about creating a will?

Below are ten common items we see regularly which are often overlooked in many wills we review for our clients.



  1. Unless you indicate otherwise, your Power of Attorney for Property comes into effect at the time you sign it (and not when you become incapable).
  2. A claim for personal services (such as housekeeping and caregiving) rendered by a family member will not be compensated out of the estate unless a contract for payment can be proven.
  3. In many cases, if you die without a Will (intestate) none of the assets of your estate can be distributed within the first year of your death.
  4. When the executor of your Will is also a beneficiary, there is a presumption that the gift to the executor is intended as his compensation.
  5. The executor of your estate has the right to decide on your funeral and burial arrangements, even if family members do not agree. Burial wishes stated in your Will are not binding on your executor.
  6. A “foreign” executor (one who resides outside Canada) may be required to post an insurance Bond with the Court even though your Will states that no Bond will be required.
  7. “Adding” your children’s names to your assets (such as your home or bank accounts) may complicate (and not simplify) your affairs and increase costs to you and/or your estate.
  8. You must carefully consider the designation of beneficiaries on your Registered Retirement Savings Plan or Registered Retirement Income Fund to ensure that the liability for the income tax related to the plans is paid by the appropriate person.  The financial institution holding the plans will not automatically deduct the income tax when paying out to a beneficiary.
  9. You should not designate a minor directly on your insurance policy. Provision should be made for the minor in an insurance trust.
  10. If you appoint your children as executors of your Estate, you should very carefully consider the relationship the children have and whether they will be able to work together as executors. You do not want to leave a “legacy” of a family division.

If you or anyone else you know would like more detail about the questions above or if you have any other questions about your will please reach out, we can help.


**This article is not intended to provide legal advice. For more information please contact HGR Graham Partners LLP


Phone:  705.327.6656 ext. 323
Email Christine


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