Public Resources

Wills and Powers of Attorney - Key Considerations

During Make a Will Month, OBA members who specialize in Trusts and Estates Law deliver presentations across Ontario help the public understand the importance of having a will and powers of attorney and how a lawyer can help. Below are some of the considerations they explain in detail during those public information sessions that everyone should take into account when it comes to proper will and power of attorney preparation. 

This summary does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general information purposes only and under no circumstances can be relied upon for legal decision-making. The information relates only to individuals and estates in Ontario. 

Please consult with a qualified lawyer to seek advice concerning the specifics of your particular situation. 

Most lawyers will now meet with you virtually to complete your will, if possible and necessary 


  1. Wills allow individuals to provide for their loved ones in the manner that they choose. 

  2. Wills can be used to maintain some control over assets after death. 

  3. Wills allow you to appoint the person or people that you trust most to manage your estate. 

  4. Wills help to make the administration of your estate much easier for your loved ones after your death.


If you die without a will, the Succession Law Reform Act (the “SLRA”) governs the distribution of your assets. 

  • What if you are separated but not yet divorced? 

  • What if you are estranged from a child, parent or sibling? 

  • What if one of your relatives is very well-off and the other one needs more help? 

  • Who is going to administer your estate? 

  • What if your children or grandchildren who may benefit from your estate are under the age of 18 or younger than the age that you would wish for them to receive property outright? 

  • What if one of the beneficiaries of your estate is receiving government benefits?


Included (unless jointly owned or gifted in another will)

  • Real Property
  • Bank Accounts
  • Investments
  • Personal effects (jewellery, furniture, cars, etc.)


  • Assets gifted under another will (such as a foreign will)
  • True joint assets*
  • Designated assets (insurance, RRSP, TFSA, etc.)

*Jointly held assets are a complicated legal concept that requires the advice of a legal professional reviewing someone’s particular situation.

  • You can revoke your will.
  • You can easily make changes to your will.
  • If you have a will, always review it as life changes (marital status, additions to family, change in assets, etc.).

Powers of Attorney


No one has the authority to manage your property (i.e. your finances) without a guardianship or power of attorney for property. Granting a power of attorney for property lets you choose who will manage your property and any restrictions on their powers without the cost or delay of a court order.

NOTE: Powers of attorney for property carry great risk and you should consult a legal professional when considering granting this authority to anyone.


To have control over who makes decisions on your behalf with respect to health care, placement in long-term care, and end of life decisions.

You may also provide evidence of your wishes in your Power of Attorney for Personal Care with respect to your health care, nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene and/or safety.

For Legal Advice in Preparing a Will and/or Powers of Attorney…

For legal advice in preparing a will, please consult a lawyer. To find one in your area, please visit our Find A Lawyer site.

Most lawyers will now meet with you virtually to complete your will, if possible and necessary