PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE, TODAY
At HNT Law, we recognize that no one likes to think about passing or the inability to manage one’s own affairs—but it’s important to have these conversations with close family, friends, and financial advisers, sooner than later. The fact is, without a proper will or other estate planning documents in place, your loved ones could have a lot at stake if something happens to you unexpectedly.
That’s why we launched HNT Law—to relieve you of the stress and hassle that come with navigating these difficult legal matters on your own. We’ve guided hundreds of clients through this process, so we know exactly what’s involved and how best to help you feel at ease.
We understand that this might be a challenging time for you. That’s why we provide compassionate legal representation to all our clients, offering a range of services designed to help make sure your estate is taken care of—emotionally as well as legally.
ESTATE TAX PLANNING
When creating an estate plan, one common mistake people make is failing to consider how taxes will affect their beneficiaries. We’ll provide a strategy that takes care of your loved ones while minimizing any tax burdens.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
We can help you complete a Power of Attorney, which is a legal document that allows you to designate someone as your agent in case you become incapacitated or unable to make vital decisions independently.
Avoid probate court altogether by setting up a revocable living trust. When the owner of this type of trust dies, their assets are distributed according to the terms written in the document—not according to state law.
We’ll craft a strong, legally sound will—tailored to your specific needs. Upon death, we’ll carry out your exact wishes while protecting your assets from undue taxation and other expenses associated with probate.
We offer a variety of small business solutions, including succession planning for family-owned enterprises. Let’s make sure your business stays in the family and can continue to provide for generations to come.
A living trust allows you to assign ownership of your home and other assets to a trustee. This makes it easier for family members—instead of the courts—to handle financial matters in case something happens to you.
FREE CASE EVALUATION
If you’re unsure of what to do with your estate or how to avoid probate, we can help. Our free, one-on-one case evaluations allow us to better understand your situation and recommend next steps.
We work closely with you to settle your estate as efficiently and promptly as possible. We provide personal attention to our clients and beneficiaries in order to ensure proper asset management and minimize fiduciary responsibility.
Frequently asked questions
What happens if I pass away without a will in Ontario?
If you die without a valid will, your estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. This means that your entire estate will likely be distributed among court-appointed beneficiaries, as overseen by Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act.
When the courts decide who inherits your estate, it’s common for them to divide up your assets unequally, leading to beneficiaries contesting their inheritance. This can cause frustration and heartbreak for those left behind—and is something you want to avoid if possible.
What should be covered in my will?
Wills are legal documents that stipulate how you want your estate to be managed after your death. To ensure that everything goes smoothly for your loved ones, it’s crucial to include all relevant information about your assets and who should have access to them.
You may also want to include specific requests regarding funeral arrangements or funeral costs; these details can be included as well as well-wishes for those who are left behind.
Do I require a lawyer to make my will in Ontario?
Not necessarily; though self-drafted wills are not automatically invalid, they do run the risk of being ignored by the court if there is any question about their validity down the line—rendering your wishes legally non-executable. Hence, it’s highly recommended that you use an experienced lawyer when drawing up an official will because they’ll understand what needs to be included in order for it to be effective.
What are Powers of Attorney, and do I need them?
POAs are documents that allow you to appoint someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you’re ever severely injured or otherwise unable to make those decisions for yourself. They can be used in a number of situations, including in regards to finances, property management, health care, and other critical matters.
What is a beneficiary, and what do they receive?
Simply put, a beneficiary is someone who receives assets from an estate when the person who owns them passes away. These assets could include property, money, or other items of value or emotional significance.
If several people should receive money or property from your estate, then it’s best to prepare separate records for each one so that all of their needs can be appropriately met. For example, if you have two children from different marriages with different needs, it would make sense for each child to have their own beneficiary designation within their parent’s will or trust agreement.
What is a will executor, and what responsibilities do they have?
A will executor’s job is to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled after you’ve passed away. This includes notifying people about the details of your will (who gets what), handling any legal paperwork necessary for probate or estate administration (the process by which assets pass from one person’s name into another’s), and distributing those assets as instructed by you before death.