What is a will?
by David M. Israel
A will is a document that regulates the rights of others
over a person’s (testator's) property after their death.
More specifically, a will is a properly signed written document
which determines who is to administer the estate (the executor),
specifies what is to happen with the assets and liabilities
of the estate and addresses other wishes of the testator
such as guardianship of children and burial instructions. Wills
take effect only at the time of the testator’s death.
After a testator’s passing, someone is appointed to continue
signing papers on his behalf. If there is a will, this
person is called an executor; if there is no will, this person
is called an administrator. Recently, the law of Ontario
changed the official designation of an executor and administrator
to a trustee with a will or a trustee without a will. Wills
give court-approved authority (probate) to people or professional
trust companies to sign documentation on behalf of the testator
and to give directions on how to deal with the estate.
To contact the author, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The information contained in this message is general
and should not substitute for the advice and counsel of
a licensed lawyer.