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Hamilton Wills and Estates Lawyer

Protect your loved ones. Plan ahead and make your will today.

Competitive Fees. Execute your estate plan remotely no matter where you are in Ontario. Contact our Hamilton Wills and Estates Lawyers to plan your Estate today.

Hamilton Lawyer Matt Lalande began drafting estate plans in 2003 while representing families and spouses in wrongful death cases in 2003. As a part of his client representation, he began drafting wills for surviving spouses or family members in fatality cases, which has since evolved into the firm drafting hundreds, if not thousands of estate plans for clients, friends, colleagues and members of the community for nearly 20 years.

Few people want to think about what would happen to their families if they become disabled or die; however, planning for the unexpected, in advance, will reduce both the potential stress and costs placed on your family later in life. A proper will and estate plan can protect the value of your estate, your assets, and spare your loved ones unnecessary hassles and legal conflicts. Our Hamilton will lawyers will provide knowledgeable and compassionate legal advice to those who are ready to take this step. We understand that making a will is important step in life – and we strive to ensure that families and clients protect and preserve their assets and make sure that wishes are carried out so that their beneficiaries can inherit their assets in the way they intended.

Some Common Questions:

  1. How much does a will cost?

    We have the most affordable rates in Hamilton and throughout the entire Province. Simply go here -> CLICK HERE and tell us that you would like to make your will and plan your estate, and we will forward you everything you need to know to get your estate plan started today.

  2. Do I need to live in Hamilton to make my will?

    Absolutely not! We serve clients all over Ontario. For example, recently we have done estate plans for clients throughout the Golden Horseshoe, Toronto, Sudbury, Ottawa, and all over Northern Ontario. You can live in Hamilton, or in the farthest reaches of the Province. As long as you have a good and solid internet connection, we can help you!

  3. Why is your personal injury firm doing wills and estates?

    Matt Lalande and his firm has been representing families in wrongful death claims and since 2003. Since then, he has been also assisting families who have lost loved ones with re-planning their estate. Our firm has drafted thousands of estate plans for not only clients, but also for Hamilton residents and residents all over Ontario.

  4. Do I need to come to your office to sign my will?

    The good thing is that You DO NOT! We can execute your documents remotely through facetime, zoom, google meet or whatever you prefer! Clients actually prefer this. Executing estate plans via audio/visual communication is extremely convenient.

  5. Is making a will expensive?

    It does NOT have to be. It depends entirely on who you hire. Some lawyers charge a flat rate, some lawyers charge by the hour. Our market research tells us that we have the most affordable rates in not only Hamilton, but also throughout Ontario.

  6. Do I need a lawyer to make a will?

    Some say yes, some say no. For such an important investment and for such minimal cost, you should hire a lawyer to draft up your will for a flat rate. This way, you can ensure that the will is validly executed pursuant to the Succession Law Reform Act, which outlines the rules and requirements on things should be done properly. Also, with hiring a lawyer, you eliminate conflict in asset distribution, as well as the potential of future estate claims. It's better to get things done right and talk things through, then filling in a questionnaire from a book.

  7. Why do I need a will?

    There are so manyreasons why you need a will. If you have kids, you can name a guardian(s) that will make sure they are cared for and raised by someone you trust, you will determine who received your estate or your share of your estate, you ensure your estate is being paid to the right people – i.e. your estate is going where you intended, you have the opportunity to name your estate trustee to help wrap up your estate, you can plan to minimize tax exposure, you can ensure your spouse benefits from the full value of your estate, you can create a trust in which funds are placed for your children until they reach a certain age, your estate will save significant legal fees in avoiding the cost of appointing someone (whom you might not even wanted) to take over and administer the estate and you can avoid litigation among family members. These are just some of the reasons.

  8. What is an Estate Plan?

    In simple terms, estate planning is the creation of a set of instructions about what should be done with your assets and personal belongings, money, possessions, investments, collectibles, and anything else you own before and after you die. An estate plan is normally made up of a will, a power of attorney for personal care, a power of attorney for property and an affidavit of execution.

  9. What is a power of attorney?

    A power or attorney is a legal document in which you provide someone that you trust with the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make decisions for yourself because of an injury or an illness. A will and estate plan will typically contain a will, a power or attorney for personal care, and a power of attorney for property.

  10. What is a power of attorney for personal care?

    A Power of Attorney for Personal Care is a legal document in which you provide someone that you trust with the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal care decisions – in particular your nutrition, medication, hygiene and end-of-life – if you are incapable of making your own decisions.

  11. What is a property of attorney for property?

    A Power of Attorney for Property is a legal document in which you provide someone that you trust with the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and finances.

Everyone should have a will and estate plan.

If you haven’t made an estate plan yet, you are not alone. Many people do not want to think about their own mortality. Putting off an estate plan is not uncommon. But remember—if you do not have a will, you will have no say about who takes care of your children if you die, leaving it up to your family to figure it out. You will not name a person you trust to carry out your wishes, and your assets will probably not be distributed as planned. Having an estate plans prevents your loved ones from having to deal with appointing a trustee, appointing guardians, or getting into disagreements with other family members about the distribution of your assets. If you need a estate plan, contact our Hamilton lawyers for wills today – and we would be more than happy to help.

Unfortunately, most people don’t have a will because they haven’t “gotten around to it yet”.

With the high costs of housing and raising a family there is no doubt that the last thing most people think about is their own mortality. Making a will and estate plan is something that does not cross out mind day-to-day. As a result, and understandably, estate planning often falls to the bottom of many people’s priority list.

There is also no doubt that, for many people, contacting a lawyer for a will can be daunting and complex, especially if they have never contacted or needed a lawyer in the past. Many people think that contacting or hiring a lawyer will be expensive – which is sometimes, but certainly not always the case. The truth is that while nobody really wants to think about death and incapacity, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Making a will and doing it right DOES NOT does not have to be expensive.  Our Hamilton Will Lawyers have been drafting Estate Plans for residents of Hamilton and others across Ontario area since 2003.

Our Hamilton lawyers for wills believe that making a will does not have to be complex or expensive! People often have the misconception that planning their estate needs to be expensive—in reality, that is not the case. Making a will is a necessity and should be within financial reach of anyone who has children and/or assets.

A “simple estate plan” which is necessary for most families or couples with children, does not have to be a financial burden, unaffordable or cost thousands of dollars to put together. Our lawyers for wills in Hamilton charge a flat rate and affordable set price for an estate plan, no matter where you are in the Province.

A simple and proper estate plan to determine what happens to your assets or wealth upon death should be cost effective. A proper estate plan should be affordable and readily accessible for every family with children or assets in the event of unexpected death. Your will should be tailored to your individual life and wishes, properly witnessed and delivered at a cost that the average family or someone on a pension or fixed income can afford.

Making a will is not just for the wealthy. Everyone should plan for the unexpected in life and protect the people that we love. Contact our Hamilton lawyers to plan your will today.

Will and Estate Planning – Who will care for your kids if you die unexpectedly?

What would happen to your minor children if you or both you and your spouse unexpectedly die? Every family should designate a person they love and trust as guardian or alternate guardian for their minor children. If something happens to you as a single parent or to both parents, you need to ensure that your minor children have the necessities of life, including medical care, food, clothing, and shelter. Our Hamilton lawyers for wills and estate planning can help with this.

In Ontario, if you have full custody of your children, the Children’s Law Reform Act provides you with the right to appoint in your Will someone to have custody of your minor children. The Children’s Law Reform Act sets out the process that must be followed in appointing a guardian for your minor children.

We always suggest that you should appoint a guardian you love and trust—and someone who is the proper age, someone who is familiar with the children, and someone who will not uproot them and take them away from their social situation, activities, and school system.

Although the custody appointment in your Will only lasts for 90 days after it your passing, your wishes and intentions are made clear. After 90 days, the guardians whom you appointed in your will must apply to the Court for permanent custody of your children. It is important to know and understand that other friends of family members are permitted to make an application for custody of the children to the Court during the 90 days period. The Court will consider the parent’s wishes, but the best interest of the child will always be a Court’s main focus.

What happens if you die without a will?

If you die without a will in Ontario, things can get complicated, expensive and time consuming. If you die without a will, the law in Ontario says that you died “intestate”, meaning you left no instructions on how to divide and distribute your estate.

The particular Ontario law, called the  Ontario Succession Law Reform Act regulates how your property will be distributed to your surviving loved ones. If you die without a will, effectively, you have no say what happens to your kids and/property.

What Happens if you die without a will in Ontario? Here are a few – but not all – of what could happen?

  • You won’t get to name the guardians of your kids – and when a Court names a person, it might not be the person you want.
  • You won’t be able to express your wishes as to how you would like your property to be divided.
  • Your spouse is not automatically entitled to your assets.
  • Your spouse does not have the right to divide your assets or how property should be divided.
  • You will pay more in taxes.
  • The law will decide where and to whom your property will go to – which might not be the person you would have chosen.
  • Your affairs will also take extra time and cost to wrap up your estate.
  • A personal representative will need to be appointed, which takes time and money, and it may not be whom you wanted. The appointed person will have the authority to manage and distribute your estate.
  • If your kids are minors, their shares of the estate will be paid into Court.
  • Your property that you worked hard for may not be distributed how you would have liked.

Is there a standard procedure which divides property according to familiy relationships?

If you die intestate, your property will be dispersed according to the law set out in the Succession Law Reform Act. There is a standard procedure that divides the property according to family relationships, which is:

  • If you are married with no kids, your spouse is entitled to everything.
  • If you are married with kids, then your spouse is entitled up to the first $200,000 before it is divided among remaining children;
  • If you are married and have one child, your spouse would inherit the first $200,000.00 of the estate, then the residue is divided equally amongst your spouse and child;
  • If you have kids and your estate is worth less then $200,000.00 – then your spouse will inherit your estate.
  •  If you are survived by a spouse and have more than one child, your spouse is entitled to receive up to the first $200,000 and the spouse is entitled to one-third of the residue. Your kids would share the two-thirds of the residue equally.
  • No spouse or kids? Then you parents will inherit your assets.
  • No spouse, kids or parents? Then your brothers and/or sisters will inherit your assets. Do you all get along?
  • No spouse, kids, parents or siblings? Then your nieces or nephews inherit your assets.
  • If you are survived by a spouse and your child or children have predeceased you, them but you have left a grandchild, then the grandchild shares in the estate equally with any other children.
  • No spouse, kids, parents or siblings or nieces or nephews? Any next of kin inherit your assets, determined by counting upward from you to your nearest common ancestor and then downward to the relative.
  • No next of kin? then then generally your estate will go to the government.

In the end, making a will with a Hamilton will lawyer can save you and your family much hardship, tangle and confusion upon death.  While thought and care is required is no doubt to make a proper estate plan, it is a necessary step to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes. You need to have control over who will be your beneficiaries, your trustees and the guardians for your kids.

If you become sick or hurt, who will make decisions for you?

Another reason why you should do a will and estate plan, whether you are a new mom or dad, middle aged or senior citizen – is in case you get sick and you can’t make your own decisions. In Ontario, if you get sick or hurt and you don’t have a plan in place then people may make decisions for you – and these are people you may not want to making decisions about your health, life, data money and kids. Who will decide on the medicine you take, what to feed your kids, access your bank accounts or even make decisions concerning keeping you alive?

Our Hamilton Will Lawyers, as part of your will and estate plan, will ensure to prepare the appropriate documents, called powers of attorney, that will allow you to make the decision in advance about who will care for you and your assets should you become incapacitated.

Powers of attorney are also useful tools in estate planning. A power of attorney is a legal document that gives someone else the right to act on your behalf with respect to your property or personal care decisions. (In this context, an “attorney” does not mean lawyer.) You will name a person you trust and care about that will make your health and financial decisions for you in case you get sick. Often times, this is a parent or spouse – along with another person either jointly or separately.

The powers of attorney identify those you appoint to step into your shoes and handle a wide variety of issues on your behalf if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. The documents provide mechanisms for you to maintain some element of control over the administration of your affairs in the event that you become incapacitated.

There are two types of continuing powers of attorney: powers of attorney for personal care and health and powers of attorney for property. If you become incapable of managing your affairs, a person you have chosen will be able to pay your bills, continue your affairs, and make decisions concerning your health and well-being.

Powers of attorney are normally part of an estate plan, but from time to time, they are required on their own. By having our Hamilton estates and wills lawyers draft your power or attorney, you can decide, while you have the capacity, who will act for you when you cannot make decisions for yourself. We can help you understand the complexities of the different powers of attorney and draft the appropriate power of attorney to fit your needs.

It important that you do not let the law decide who can discipline your kids, sell your home or access your bank accounts and investments – because the law might appoint someone that you never would appoint, or more importantly, that you do not trust. Remember – you are appointing someone, in advance, who will decide on your medical treatment, diet, housing, clothing, hygiene, safety, property, finances, bills and real estate if you cannot make those decisions for yourself. our Hamilton will lawyers can help you with drafting your powers of attorneys – as well as all of your estate needs.

Elder Law: What about Will and Estate Planning Later in Life?

Later life wills are a common client need. Often, older clients want to write a new will. While there is no exact information as to the average age of estate planning clients or the age at which individuals write wills, our Hamilton will lawyers often draft wills for seniors aho revisit wills made in their younger years, particularly after their spouse passes.

Wills written by those past age 80 or 85 normally represent one last bite at the apple of estate distribution. The client does not expect to ever write another will and often, takes great pains to get this one right. We understand that in some cases, people making a will later in life might feel pressed for time or their mental incapacity of the client is becoming a very real possibility.  Eyesight, poor memory and communication may also makes it a challenge to communicate but we are prepared to work with you no matter how long it takes.

Remember – even older clients who do not have large estates may require a that reflects the reality of family dynamics including divorce, remarriage, second families, late-life children, adoptions, and alternate lifestyles.

Speak with a Hamilton Wills and Estates Lawyer Today and start planning for your future.

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers are Hamilton lawyers who have been helping families with their estate planning needs, all over Ontario since 2003. If you require affordable estate planning services done right, please contact our Hamilton will planning lawyers by filling out the online contact form below or calling us today. Alternatively, call at 905-333-8888 or 1-844-LALANDE or to speak with a Hamilton wills and estates lawyers today.

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