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    0 A Glossary of Words and Phrases Found in a Will

    Writing your Will can be a daunting prospect. Not only do you have to decide who to leave your property to when you die and who will be the executor of your estate, but you have to wade through a lot of confusing legal terms. This brief Glossary explains some of the words and phrases commonly used in wills, as well as a few other terms that you may encounter during your estate planning process.

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    Administrator

    An administrator is a person or firm that is appointed by the Court to manage and di...

    0 10 Things the Executor of an Estate is Required to Do

    You have been named as executor in a loved one's will. What does that entail?

    cemetery headstones

    You might feel honoured to be named the executor of a person’s estate. After all, it is an indication of the high regard and level of trust that the testator feels for you. However, it is a demanding, time consuming and often complicated role.

    Acting as the executor of an estate involves dealing with all the legal, fiduciary and tax implications arising out of the person's death, as well as coping with the financia...

    0 What to Consider When Naming an Executor in Your Will

    If you are about to make a Will for the first time, you may find that choosing an executor to administer your estate can be one of the most difficult - but possibly the most important - decision you will need to make with regards to your Will and estate planning.

    Your executor (also called a "personal representative") is the person you appoint to carry out the instructions in your Will, to distribute your property according to your directions, and to wrap up your estate after you die. You can n...

    0 Why You Need to Review Your Will

    If you have a family, then as a responsible parent you undoubtedly have already executed a Last Will and Testament because you want to protect and provide for their future well being. But you may not have realized how important it is to regularly review and update your Will. And for the month of January, you can get a complete legal will kit for Canada or the United States for just $5.99 when you purchase any power of attorney form.

    0 Have You Made a Will Yet? What Are You Waiting For?

    The old saying goes that the only sure things in life are death and taxes. While almost everyone files their taxes every year, over half of North Americans have not addressed that other certainty, and continue to put off making a Will.

    0 Living Together Does Not Constitute Common Law Marriage

    Just because you and your significant other have lived together for a few years doesn't mean that you have a marital relationship under the law. Each country - in fact, each state, province and territory - has its own definition of marriage and its own laws and rules governing what does and does not constitute a legal marriage. Simply because you live together doesn't make you married, even if you have children together.

    0 A Transfer on Death Deed Can Avoid Probate on Your Property

    A growing number of U.S. states have enacted laws that allow a home owner to record a Transfer on Death Deed (also called a beneficiary deed or a TOD) during their lifetime. This form of deed will transfer ownership of their property directly to the beneficiary (grantee) named in the deed when the owner (grantor) dies. This is a low-cost and trouble-free alternative to setting up a living trust in order to keep real estate property out of probate.

    0 Why You Need a Health Care Directive

    An advance directive (also called a health care directive, medical directive, personal directive, or living will) is a document in which you can name someone you trust (such as your spouse, partner, sibling, or good friend) as your surrogate or proxy, to make medical decisions for you when you are unable to do so, and in which you can set out your wishes about the extent of medical care you want to receive if you are in a persistent vegetative state (coma) or if you are likely to die from an irreversible condition.

    0 What's the Difference Between an Heir and a Beneficiary?

    Q. I've been researching what I need to know to do my Will and set up a Living Trust, and I'm getting confused by some of the materials I've been reading. I keep seeing separate references to 'heirs' and 'beneficiaries'. Are they not the same thing? My son is the heir to my estate, isn't he? Doesn't that also make him the beneficiary?

    0 Defining the Role of an Estate Administrator

    Most people know what the role of an executor is. Your executor (or personal representative) is the person you name in your Will to distribute your estate assets to your beneficiaries. But who distributes your assets and wraps up your estate if you die without a Will?