Wills FAQ

Yes, if it meets certain legal requirements. A handwritten will is called a “holograph will”. If your will is completely written out in your own handwriting and you sign and date it, then it may be a valid will in Ontario. It is important that every word in your will be in your own handwriting. A pre-printed form that you fill in by hand is not a holograph will. You do not need witnesses for a holograph will. ACE recommends that you see a lawyer if you are preparing a will.

If you die without a will, it is called dying “intestate”. Your property will be divided according to the Succession Law Reform Act, which might be different from how you would have divided up your property. Since there is no estate trustee to administer the estate, an application may have to be made to the court for someone to administer your estate. This may take extra time and money.

No. The Substitute Decisions Act states that an attorney cannot make or change your will. A power of attorney for property is only valid when you are alive while a will comes into effect after your death. However, if you are mentally incapable of managing your property, your attorney has a duty to determine whether you have a will and, if so, what are the provisions of the will. In managing your property, the attorney for property is required to take into consideration the contents of your will when making their decisions.