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Things you should know and consider when preparing a Will

The Will

• deals with everything that is in your estate

• may include directions regarding your children, funeral expenses and other topics

Former Will

• may be helpful to see but not necessary

• will be revoked when the new Will is executed

Reviewing Wills and Powers of Attorney

• changes in the law, a marriage or a divorce judgment may nullify or affect a Will or
Powers of Attorney


• are used to control your estate

• may hold items in trust for an extended period of time

• two trustees (joint trustees) may be better than one

• may choose alternative to replace those who cannot continue

Insurance Policies

• may be distributed outside your estate

• your estate is subject to probate fees (for each $100,000 it is $1,500, with the exception
of the first $50,000 in your estate) but will avoid probate fees if given directly

• if children are named they will receive at age 18 unless trust established

• each trust may pay taxes at graduated marginal rates (rather than everything in one trust
and being hit with higher rates)

• we should have name and particulars of your insurance policy for setting up trusts

• insurance polices are not subject to claim by creditors, except your dependents

• insurance policy designations not revoked by a future Will

• if described in your Will insurance company should be informed

Registered Retirement Savings Plans

• may include RRSPs, or other pension plans

• may wish to set up a separate trust as it is dealt with like insurance polices

• should inform holder of plan about new declaration of beneficiaries

Real Estate

• may not form part of your estate if it is held in “joint tenants” (survivor receives)

• if held “tenants in common” your estate maintains your interests and your beneficiary

Personal Property

• this includes everything but land

• includes vehicles, bank accounts, and other items not specifically otherwise designated

Bequests to Children

• unless you say otherwise they receive everything at age 18

• you may postpone to any age and hold in trust until time comes and many people choose
age 23 as by this time most children have finished university or at least their first degree

• can direct trustee as to how or when to make funds available

Protecting Children From Their Spouse

• if property is held for your beneficiary you can avoid his/her spouse from being able to
receive part of it

Other Methods of Giving Property
Specific Bequests

• may given specific item to specific person

Life Interest

• may allow one person to use the item for extended period of time and yet leave it to a
different beneficiary

Estate Planning for Family Disaster

• if you leave property and items to your spouse, and then to your children, but there is a
family disaster such as a plane crash you may wish to designate who else would receive
your estate

Charitable Donations


• may leave an amount or percentage to a charity

Guardian for Children


• may give instructions as to what will happen with your children if you are unable to care
for them

Organ Donations


• many organs may be of help to others

• having this only on driver’s licence may not be sufficient because the licence is

• your executors or power of attorney for personal care should be informed

Funeral Directions


• instructions may be given to your executor



• you may make this decision so your executor is not left wondering what would be your


Our Final Comments to You


This is a general guideline and needs to be further discussed.

DeRusha Law Firm does not provide estate tax planning or tax advice, and for this you must
refer to your accountant, or other tax planners, or may ask for a referral if you wish to have tax

We will keep your original Will if you like in our storage system and provide you with a copy.

Original Powers of Attorney of trust may also be kept, or power of attorney may be distributed
by you to the appropriate persons, and we will keep an original for you.

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