Mazzeo Law, a family law firm in Vaughan has announced that it is accepting cases requiring will and estates services.
The Ontario-based firm specialises in family, real estate and will or estate laws. According to an estate planning lawyer for the firm, will and estate planning is not just for wealthy people. “If you have worked hard to accumulate what you have right now or establish that business, you deserve the right to protect it,” he said. “It’s not easy to think about these things but it’s a fact of life. People pass away. Relationships end. In all these situations, it is always best to be prepared, especially for the sake of our loved ones.”
The same estate planning lawyer in Vaughan noted that an experienced family lawyer can ensure that a will adequately protects a person’s assets and that it is properly documented, which is crucial for the will to have legal grounding.
He added, “Estate planning should be part of long-term financial planning. Many people do not realise that transferring assets, even to your own family, will incur costs. As veteran lawyers, part of what we do is offer tax and cost mitigation strategies to ensure that our clients’ loved ones are not burdened by these issues when the time comes that they have to deal with it.”
The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website defines a will as a written document that specifies a person’s wishes regarding the care and distribution of his or her estate after death, which is when it will take effect. Estate refers to the property that a person owns or has a legal interest in. This includes both assets and liabilities.
When it comes to distribution of estate, the process depends on whether the recently deceased left a valid will. If there is a will, the estate is distributed as instructed, after the funeral and burial expenses are paid, as well as any debts. However, a will can be challenged and in certain situations, the law takes precedence over the wishes of the person who died.
For instance, if the person who died has a surviving spouse or dependent, they will be prioritised over anyone else named in the will. A will may also become invalid if the person who created it got married or divorced after they wrote the will. Joint properties and bank accounts, as well as insurance policies, can also complicate the execution of a will.
In the event that there is no valid will, the distribution of the deceased person’s estate is dictated by Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act. As an overview, according to the Act, the first $200,000 is given to the deceased person’s spouse, unless a financial dependent makes a claim. The surviving spouse can also opt to claim half of the net family property. Anything over $200,000 is divided among the spouse and descendants which includes children and grandchildren.
If there is no spouse, the children and grandchildren are next in the line of succession. If there are no children or grandchildren, surviving parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews follow in that order. The rules become more complex when a deceased person is survived only by what the law considers as distant relatives.
The attorney from the firm furthered, “Creating a will is a crucial process that can affect the future of a family, a business or a legacy. We encourage people to take the first step. Talk to an estate planning lawyer so we can help secure that future for your loved ones.”
To find out more about wills and estate planning specifically in Ontario, or to book a consultation, visit the firm’s website.
Contact us at any time:
3300 Hwy 7 Suite 904
Vaughan, Ontario L4K 4M3
Phone: (905) 851-5909
Fax: (905) 851-3514