ONTARIO BAR ASSOCIATION
Everyone needs a properly drafted will. This month, the Ontario Bar Association (OBA) and its members will be promoting the importance of wills as they mark Make A Will Month with free online information sessions across the province, including one on Tuesday, Nov. 30, in partnership with the Barrie Public Library.
Make A Will Month is an annual initiative that promotes the expertise of OBA members, while informing the public about the critical need for a properly drafted will. Volunteers from the OBA will be leading public speaking events in November in communities across Ontario.
“The past 20 months have shown how valuable the expertise of the OBA and its members are – not only to the legal profession, but to the people of our province,” says OBA president Karen Perron. “Part of my mandate is to support and highlight the work being done by our members. Make A Will Month is a great example of this. It’s a service that demonstrates the deep involvement so many of our volunteer lawyers have in their communities.”
Even in families where everyone gets along, drafting mistakes in wills can lead to ambiguities, problems and costly litigation. Marital status, online accounts, digital assets, retirement savings and outstanding loans are just a few things that need to be considered. Documents should also be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure wills are up to date.
"Having your will professionally prepared can be one of the greatest gifts that you can give your family,” says Georgia Swan, a tax and estate planner for TD Wealth in Barrie who will be leading the session on Nov. 30. “A clear set of instructions for the distribution of your assets upon death provides certainty for your loved ones, avoids disputes, and gives peace of mind to you and those you love."
“We are all seeing the world change so rapidly. That means there are even more potentially complicating factors that people must think about when making a will or updating it,” says Nicole Woodward, chair of the OBA’s Trusts and Estates Law Section. “Since wills help provide for loved ones, they need to be drafted in a way that truly reflects a person’s wishes. Not having one puts families in a vulnerable position, so their importance cannot be overstated.”
For information and to register for the Nov. 30 session, visit http://www.oba.org/makeawill.
- According to a 2018 poll conducted by the Angus Reid Institute, a majority of Canadians don’t have a will. In Ontario, only 46 per cent of people have a last will and testament in place.
- Only one-third (35 per cent) say they have one that is up to date.
About the Ontario Bar Association
Established in 1907, the OBA is the largest voluntary legal association in Ontario representing over 16,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. The OBA provides continuing professional development and advocates for improvements to the law in the interests of the profession and public.