New Will still available – Covid 19

I have had some calls about a new Will in the past few days. Despite corona virus, I am still open and able to prepare a new Will or update your old Will.
I generally prefer to get my Will instructions on the phone or by e-mail, so you don’t have to come to my office for that.
Once the new Will is prepared, I prefer to sign the new Will at my office, but it doesn’t have to be done in office. In fact, if you write your own Will in your own handwriting, you don’t even need any witnesses and don’t need to leave your own home!!
Or you could print off your new Will at home, and then get two witnesses who aren’t your spouse or beneficiaries to sign with you.
I don’t normally give out my e-mail address but these are not normal times. If you have any questions a new Will, or updating your old Will, my e-mail address is:

Holograph Wills

In Saskatchewan, holograph wills are still legal.   I don’t recommend it, but it is still legal.

Section 8 of The Wills Act, 1996, states:

Holograph Wills

8. A holograph will, wholly in the handwriting of the testator and signed by him or her, may be made without any further formality or any requirement as to the presence of or attestation or signature by a witness.

The reason I don’t recommend you try to create your own will is because you should get legal advice about the information to put in your will.  Not having the right information can cost your estate thousands of dollars in unnecessary court applications.

David R. Barth

Joint Title with Children

A joint title between spouses is a good way to avoid probate fees between spouses.

However, a joint title with your kids is not always a good idea for the following reasons:

1. You lose control of the property.   Your children will have to consent to any sale and if they want the property for themselves, you have a court battle ahead of you.

2. Your children’s creditors can claim the property and register a judgment against it.

3. Your children’s ex-spouse can claim half of your child’s share of the property.

4. If you have several children on title, and one dies, there is nothing for the grandchildren.   The surviving kids take it all.  All it takes is a car accident.

5. The transfer of non principle-residence property is a disposition for income tax capital gain purposes.

If you are going to put a child onto a joint bank account for you so they can pay your bills, make sure you advise the bank and your child, in writing, whether or not you want that child to get the remaining money when you die, or it belongs to your estate.

Interesting aside, the husband dies and has a bank account in his sole name.   The husband has no will.   The bank refuses to transfer funds to surviving spouse until provided with Letters of Administration.  The lawyer has to be hired and legal fees are incurred.   As stated, the above Joint Title between spouses is a good way to avoid probate fees.

David R. Barth