A fistful of money

Inheritance: everyone dreams of inheriting oodles of money from a rich aunt or uncle. But what happens when you actually get the money? It might not be everything you wish for.

Marlene Engelhorn is exactly in that position: she inherited a whopping $36.6 million dollar (in Canadian dollars) from her rich grandmother. She should be set for life, right?

Instead, the wealthy heiress is quite unhappy with the princely sum of money.

Inheriting the money was bittersweet for Engelhorn; it’s enough to live on for the rest of her life, but it left the heiress with a nagging feeling in the back of her mind. Engelhorn felt conflicted: “I am only wealthy because I was born in a rich family. And I think in a democratic society of the 21st century, birth should not be the one thing that determines whether or not you’re gonna get to lead a very good life,” Engelhorn was reported as saying.

Engelhorn began a campaign for heavier taxes on the wealthy in Austria; this included campaigning for an inheritance tax. Her pleas to the Austrian government fell on deaf ears; the tax inheritance laws that Engelhorn was hoping for didn’t come to fruition. She has therefore decided to spearhead a grass-roots campaign for heavier taxes to be levied against the wealthy in Austria.

Partnering with the Foresight Institute in Austria, Engelhorn is looking to have a committee of Austrian residents tackle economy inequality by redistributing the €25 million ($36.6 million Cdn) she is generously giving the committee to play with.

How does this work?

Engelhorn and the Foresight Institute invited 10,000 Austrian residents over the age of 16. The number will be whittled down to a lucky 50 residents, who will be randomly selected to form the “Good Council.” These members will decide (over a period of six weekends) as to how the money will be spent.

Engelhorn also continues to work with charitable groups, like Millionaires for Humanity and Tax Me Now.

She continues to lament that “the Austrian system shouldn’t allow her to accumulate so much wealth.” But without any inheritances taxes in sight, Engelhorn is left to her own devices to distribute her own wealth.

Until that changes, Engelhorn plans to give away most of her inheritance.

You can read more, here.

Dog bounding up in the air

Pet care: our furbabys are spoiled. It’s not uncommon for people to spoil their furbabys; Instagram and other social media is littered with videos and pictures of people playing with their beloved Fidos and felines, pampering them, feeding them, and just enjoying their presence. (In fact, pets sometimes get receive better care than other humans.)

Is it any surprise that people want their pets to be taken care of when they die?

There are some people who love their dogs, cat (and by extension, birds and rabbits) more than anything in the world, and have a closer relationship with them over their human counterparts (we’ll get to some real-life examples later.) It’s an increasingly popular trend: leaving behind money and assets for the care of their non-human loved ones. It’s not so far fetched when you consider how much people pamper their dogs and cats already – in fact, it’s a testament to the deep bond people share with their furry companions.

The History of Pet Inheritances

Reasons for this increasing trend

Legal Considerations

Challenges

History of Pet Inheritances

The concept of leaving money or assets to pets isn’t entirely new. In fact, it dates back centuries. Roman Emperor Gaius Caligula, for instance, left behind a substantial inheritance for his beloved horse, Incitatus. His horse was gifted with a complete with a marble stable, fine fodder, and a staff of servants (no word on how long the horse lived after his passing.) Then, there are the myriad of modern day stories: Leona Helmsley, for instance. And the late Karl Lagerfeld has a cat worth over $3 million dollars. The trend has gained momentum in recent years, with many pet owners treating their pets better than their human family members.

Reasons for the Trend

Several factors contribute to the rising popularity of leaving inheritances to pets:

1. Pets are like family (and are treated as such): Pets are often cherished as family members rather than animals (at least for dogs and cats, anyway.) This gives pets a status deserving of consideration in planning for their estate.

2. Concern for Their Well-being: Leaving a financial legacy to their pets ensures that they receive the care and attention they deserve, even in their owner’s absence.

3. No Heirs: People who are either childless or don’t have family members, people keep dogs or cats for company. They become as close to their owners as family. Leaving behind something to take care of their pets is a natural choice.

4. The Growth of Pet-Related Services: The pet industry has exploded in recent years, from pet spas, gourmet pet food, to pet therapists and luxury accommodations. With these services readily available, leaving an inheritance to pets becomes more feasible and practical. It really shows how much people love their pets and would do anything to take care of them.

While the idea of leaving inheritances to pets may be heartwarming, there are legal and practical aspects of these types of arrangements. In many provinces/territories, pets are legally regarded as property rather than as beneficiaries, which can make direct bequests challenging. To be fair, how would you directly pass on wealth to a pet? You would need someone else to look after the pet in question for you. Instead of inserting your wishes into a Will, you might want to look into a Pet Will, which allows you to comprehensively provide details for pet care after your passing.

A Pet Will allows you to legally set aside funds specifically for their pets’ care and designate a trustee responsible for managing the assets on behalf of the pets. Caregivers ensure that the pets receive the necessary care, and detailed instructions cover everything from food to medicine. It also includes any special instructions the pets might require for care.

Challenges and Controversies

Leaving inheritances to a dog or a cat is well-intentioned, but this process has it’s obvious challenges: some family members may dispute these arrangements in court, arguing that the funds should be allocated for human beneficiaries (this was the case for Leona Helmsley), rather than to pet care. There is also the sobering concern people have for their pets: will caregivers maintain care for the pets in question, or just run off with the money they were provided with for the pet’s care? Make sure ALL of your loved ones are taken care, with the right estate planning!

Online will Canada

As our world becomes increasingly digitized, the importance of navigating online becomes essential. This includes preparing for what’s best for ourselves and our loved ones. We need to protect both our digital and physical assets. This is where online Wills come into play. It is a testament to the marriage of technology and legal paperwork that we can now create online Wills.

You do not need to go with some online Will template that is a boilerplate option. You will want to work with a proper legal platform offering the best online Will option in Canada. When you create your Canadian Will online, you will want to ensure that it legally holds up in court or during a dispute. There should be instructions regarding what to do once the Will is complete.

What’s in a Will?

Breaking down Wills

Are Online Wills legal?

What service should I use?

In the End

What is included in a Will?

Let’s take a closer look at what a Canada online will looks like: it requires exactly the same type of requirements of that a traditional paper Will. You should start with the first and last names of the beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the recipients of the assets you are leaving behind once you pass away. There should be a breakdown of the assets each beneficiary is meant to receive. This breakdown can include either specific items or a percentage of assets.

You also want to include someone responsible for carrying out the wishes that you have requested in your Will. This person is called the Executor of your Will. This person is responsible for distributing your assets and managing your requests.

If there are minor children involved, you can also appoint a Guardian for those children (in the event of your untimely departure from this world.) Finally, if there are any special instructions, requests, or actions that your beneficiaries or Executor need to be made aware of, those should also be included in the Will.

Understanding the mystery of Online Wills In Canada

Online wills can also be known as electronic Wills or even digital Wills. These are stored electronically. They can even be delivered electronically. You simply have to print out the Last Will in question and make sure that it’s signed and witnessed in the right places.

Another benefit of creating an online Will versus a traditional written Will is the convenience factor. Online Wills can be made from the comfort of your own home (or office), which removes the need for any type of in-person meeting as well as any costly meetings with lawyers.

Another major plus point is just how accessible creating an online Will is. It is perfect for those who may live in remote areas (or have reduced mobility). Online Wills may allow people living in (relatively) inaccessible areas the convenience of creating their Will online. They would simply have to have access to a computer, the Internet, and a printer. This also goes into the benefit of cost-effectiveness. An online Will tends to be significantly cheaper than creating a traditional Will.

You may think creating a Will is a complex, taxing process, but you would be wrong. Many services today offer an online Will kit for Canada. You may want a service providing you with a step-by-step guide to create your Will. These services will take you by the hand and guide you through a platform that helps simplify the creation of your Will. Before creating your Last Will, you need to know what your assets are, who your beneficiaries are, your Executor(s), Guardian(s), etc. Have your information ready before you start.

Online Wills offering customization options that cater to your specific needs are the best option for you. Online Will services allow you to create a Will that is tailored to your circumstances. Your Will can be tailored to your wishes.

The legality of the Will may vary from province to province. You may want to check directly with your provincial laws to see the rules and current legislation. But any credible Will service will have the proper instructions to follow in your province/territory of residence. You can print the Will and signing instruction letter out. Just follow any instructions in letter that comes with it. Be certain the letter is tailored to your province/territory of your residence. With that said, if you feel as if you require legal advice, you may still want to consider speaking with a legal professional. This too, is covered by credible online Will services. When you create your Will, these online Will services may have lawyers you can consult with (for a fee). The cost of using these lawyers may be a lot cheaper than going through a lawyer directly. There are always options available.

If you follow the instructions provided by the online Will service, the Executor should be able to access your Will with no issues. Once the Testator (the person who drafted up the last Will) passes away, the Executor should know what to do: the Executor should know where to find the Will, what the next steps are, etc. This will help streamline the process of Will creation.  

It is important to note that there are fundamental requirements for the Will to be considered legal. They are as follows:

The first specification is to ensure that whoever is creating their Will is of sound mind; that their mental capacity is not in question. The Testator needs to be able, within the legal framework, to understand what they are doing. There may also be requirements to have witnesses present and sign off on the Will. These witnesses, may or may not able to be beneficiaries themselves. This information should be included in your Last Will.

Another legal requirement circles back to storage requirements. As mentioned above, the document should be securely stored and yet, easily accessible.  The right people should be able to access the document when necessary.

What to take into consideration when choosing an online Will service in Canada

If you have already made up your mind and want to go completely digital with this critical document, the next step is finding the right platform for you. It all starts with finding one with a strong reputation. You’re looking for a track record, testimonials, and reviews of their products and services. This allows you to better understand whether the service in question is the right fit for you. You are looking for people with a background in legal expertise and are familiar with Canadian laws/laws related to Wills, etc.

Beyond this, you want to do your due diligence on the security features these online platforms have. Make sure they are robust with the right type of encryption and authentication features and have a proper team managing their cyber security.

The final item you’re going to want to take a look at is pricing. You clearly want to compare the cost to the quality of service. Just be comfortable with everything before proceeding.

In the end

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re not old enough to set up a Will. Creating your online Will in Canada can be done as soon as you have loved ones you care for and assets in your possession. This also applies to both Millennials and GenZ; yes, these two generations are struggling financially, and yes, they have a rocky start in comparison to the post-war baby boomers of the 50’s and 60’s. But, and this is a big but, at some point in their lives, there will be a time when they accumulate at least some of their wealth. This could be in the form of digital assets (such as bitcoin), or physical assets (such as jewelry, antiques, etc.)  As life circumstances change and evolve, you may want to create a Will at some point in your life. Additionally, creating a Will has many tax benefits. A Will can also eliminate any family squabbling that could occur after your passing. There is no reason to postpone such an important document as you may never know when your time comes.

Even with an online Will, nothing is set in stone, and you can periodically review your Will to ensure the document is kept updated. Maybe your children are no longer minors, or there are additional assets to add to your Will. You can easily update these items through your online Will. You can do this without the need to go through expensive revisions through a lawyer.

This is a revolutionary option that can help protect generational wealth in an easy-to-use format. There’s no fear of losing your documentation as the documents will be stored digitally. Whenever you’re ready to consider doing your Will online, feel free to reach out to us. We will be prepared to handle your inquiries and help get your online Will setup in no time. We can help you make the best-informed decision about online Wills and, more importantly, ensure that you’re going to secure your legacy and protect your loved ones.

Writing a will is a task that many of us put off for far too long. It’s often seen as a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process. However, the importance of having a will that clearly expresses your wishes cannot be overstated. That’s where FormalWill.ca comes into play, making the entire process smooth, user-friendly, and affordable. Here’s why FormalWill.ca stands out as the best online will writing service available.

Ease of Use

Cost-Effective Solutions

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Continuous Updates and Access

Additional Services

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