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Four Consequences of Dying Without A Will in Canada

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Dying without a will is popularly known by the term “Intestate”: It has several consequences that we will make you aware of through this blog. So, keep reading, and you will find an answer to whether you should make a will.

It is inevitable. Indeed, we all see the end of the road and will one day finish what we started. We will leave behind not only our memories but also our valuable possessions and assets for our children.

To distribute your assets or “estate” appropriately among your desired beneficiaries, it is always a good idea to make a will. If you decide against it, your family will ultimately be the victim. How does it happen? – Let us guide you through.

Four Issues with Dying Intestate

Undoubtedly, a “will” is the most ignored part of human life. Everybody prefers ignoring or postponing it until they become sufficiently feeble. Below we have made a list of four of the most typical concerns that you and your family may encounter if you die intestate:

1. It will be Confusion, Chaos, and Ambiguity

Envision a scenario: The Canadian government has decided to give $500 to every person, but they failed to mention the eligibility criteria.

What happens in such a situation? There will be a lot of ambiguity among everyone, ultimately leading to a false sense of entitlement that everybody is eligible for.

At the same time, when you do not declare the distribution of your assets by executing an appropriate will, it causes confusion and ambiguity.

Even then, you must declare that you have not executed any will. Otherwise, everyone assumes you have a “will” but have kept it hidden.

This causes frustration, and every family member will be distressed.

Further, when we refer to the official website of Ontario, it presents two different situations, which are:

Situation 1: You have a will

Situation 2: You do not have a will

Your family will move to the probate court, which appoints an “Executor”:

The estate will be distributed as per the law.

The estate will be divided as per the “wishes” specified in the will.

This process is complex, expensive, and cannot be accomplished without the help of a legal attorney.

2. Your Closest Relative Will Be Appointed as Executor   

First, let’s understand who is an executor and the importance of appointing one.

Who Is an Executor?

An executor is a person that you have named in your will.

You want them to oversee the distribution process of your estate after your death.

The probate court appoints the executor and legally authorizes them to ensure everything goes per your “wishes” in the latest will.

What Happens When There Is No Executor?

In Canada, probation refers to the process in which the probate court approves your last will appoints an executor.

After your death, it is not possible for your family to reach out to the bank and tell them to give money based on the will.

The banking personnel is neither trained nor authorized to verify the will.

Ultimately, they will have to return empty-handed.

In Canada, the probate courts assumed this role. They verify your will and appoint an executor who manages all the affairs.

Without a will, the probate courts do not have any executors. In such a case, your closest relative will be appointed executor handling all distribution affairs. They will have the final say.

There is a big possibility that the appointed executor might not be capable of distributing your estate impartially. Further, there could be conflicts if several close relatives are eligible to become executors.

3. Your Estate Will Be Frozen

As per the general practice, if you die intestate, your entire estate is frozen, and your family cannot get any money, even for your funeral expenses. The reason is that the financial institutions will always wait for legal confirmations from the probate court before they release funds.

Furthermore, your creditors, who have a legal and valid claim on your estate, will be paid first. However, this usually happens after paying government taxes and funeral expenses.

4. No Control Over the Estate

Without a will, your family members cannot control your estate.

Your spouse cannot inherit your property automatically or even oversee the distribution process.

The estate is divided as per the wishes of the court-appointed executor. In such a case, even the least deserving heir might get an equal share in the property.

This process will be lengthier, more complex, and even more expensive. 

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