What is the Purpose of a Secondary Will and how can it help me?

A secondary will, also known as a “probate-fee-saving will” or a “business will”, is a legal document that is used to manage the distribution of assets that do not require probate after your death. This can include assets such as shares in private corporations, business interests, intellectual property, and personal property.

The purpose of a secondary will is to help minimize probate fees and taxes that may be levied on the value of your estate. In Ontario, for example, probate fees are calculated based on the value of your assets that require probate, which can be as high as 1.5% of the value of your estate. By using a secondary will to manage the distribution of non-probate assets, you can help reduce the value of your estate that is subject to probate fees and taxes.

A secondary will can help you in several ways:

  1. Save on Probate Fees: A secondary will can help minimize the amount of your estate that is subject to probate fees, which can help save money for your beneficiaries.
  2. Simplify Estate Administration: By using a secondary will to manage the distribution of non-probate assets, you can simplify the administration of your estate and help ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
  3. Protect Your Privacy: Since probate is a public process, using a secondary will to distribute non-probate assets can help protect your privacy and keep the details of your estate out of the public domain.

It’s important to note that the use of a secondary will can be complex, and it’s recommended that you work with a lawyer who is experienced in estate planning to help you create a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs and objectives. If you have any questions, please call us at 1-877-892-7778 or email us at info@falconlawyers.ca.

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