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Do you have a legal will?

BeagleMum
October 26th, 2005, 08:43 AM
I am just wondering how many people here have a legal will? My step-mother is trying to get me to do one now that I own a house and all. I was thinking that it would be a good idea so that I can also indicate who gets the dogs. I have seen it too many times where dogs end up in shelters because the owner dies and the family doesn't want it.

I think that I would say somewhere in there, that money should be provided to whoever gets my dogs to cover any costs. Not to bribe people to take them, but to ensure that they are well cared for if something was to happen to me.

Does anyone know the legal process for getting a will in Quebec? Does it have to be done through a Notary?

mastifflover
October 26th, 2005, 09:00 AM
I am not sure about Quebec but when my dad did his will there was a trust fund set up for his dog. I could not keep his dog because my dog at the time and my dads were oil and water and would have been a dangerous situation so I found a couple who were willing to give her a great home and I paid all the bills for the dog through the trust. I set certain stipulations that they would need to contact me about any major health issues or if they were ever considering rehoming her. They were wonderful and gave her a good life with them. My lawyer said it took awhile to find the right way to execute the trust and make sure it was all legal and would stand up in court if it was challenged.

shannonRN
October 26th, 2005, 10:20 AM
I don't have a will although I am relieved to now have a health care proxy set up with my husband (remember Terry Shiavo? Her situation was enough to convince me)

Anyhow, my dad has his dogs in his will and leaves a lump of money to the dogs themselves, but really for my sister to whom he willed the dogs. This was really a matter of semantics, he just didn't want to leave more to one child than to the others so he set it aside specifically for the dogs. I have no idea how any of this is worded though.

SnowDancer
October 26th, 2005, 10:27 AM
We recently updated our wills in the event that we should die together - were going on a plane together. Unfortunately in Ontario - and most of Canada, pets are considered chattels. Unless a trust is established - the lawyer we were using couldn't seem to grasp the concept of the trust - or worse, the fact that I would be leaving a considerable amount of money to the person who had agreed to take my dog - and who actually would take him. I have a first beneficiary and a second, just in case the primary beneficiary should predecease us. The really important thing is to pick your people wisely, as they can take the money and not the dog. Period. In many cases the first people to dump dogs are the children and grandchildren of people who have died - after first picking up their inheritance. The person I picked as primary beneficiary could not be challenged by anyone with a thinking mind. My family, who I have not seen for years, abused dogs. The lawyer couldn't seem to grasp that the money would be mine to bequeath as I saw fit. Also clearly excluded my family from the estate should they learn of my demise. My husband and I are each other's beneficiaries, with the woman who would adopt our dog, being the back-up executor. Some States have set up endowment homes where pets can be left and cared for in nice group homes - again, care is needed in selecting such a home - so they get insurance money. Other States have guardian and companion classification - one is "safer" than the other - forget which one it is, since rules don't apply in Canada. But there are lawyers in Calgary I believe who are trying to have pets reclassified to a sub family type of class - dogs are not sofas. These days accidents happen so easily - planes crash - but heck the drive to the airport in a taxi or limo is frankly more dangerous. A simple trip to the grocery store is dangerous. I would do the will as soon as possible. We also did Powers of Attorney - there would be no one to challenge my DNR order etc. but better to have it in writing after the Terri case. And it helps with financial matters.

BMDLuver
October 26th, 2005, 11:44 AM
My husband and myself both redid our wills last year and incorporated a living will as well. We are in Quebec and it is a notary who draws up wills in Quebec. We also did powers of attorney in the event one of us is incapacitated. We had to rework ours due to change in province because Quebec is under what they refer to as "french law" whereas the rest of Canada is not.

Rick C
October 26th, 2005, 11:51 AM
We updated our wills a few months ago using a professional will planner who is part of my team . . . . . threw him for a bit of a loop by including trusts for any surviving pets, something he hadn't seen before.

Our vet has agreed to their placement and lifelong care should we pass.

Then we had a lawyer complete the documents.

Everyone should have a will, even if you have very little.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

glasslass
October 26th, 2005, 12:25 PM
This is something I have been thinking about recently as well. For years, I felt secure in that my parents would automatically take care of Den-Den if something happened to us, with or without money. My family is like that with pets; they are family members! I would never permit my brothers' dogs to be homeless! Now, my Pop is gone and Mom has moved in with us along with her dog, Corky. I want to protect Mom if something happens to us. I don't want to leave our assets to her as she's going to be 80 in December. If she ever needed to go into a care home, her assets would be depleted rapidly. I need to talk with someone who can advise me. I love my brothers, but they have never offered to help my mom financially, or otherwise. They do live a distance away, but it's like they have no clue.

CyberKitten
October 26th, 2005, 03:27 PM
I absolutely have a will and have a trust set up for YY in the event something happens to me. My sister - who has much experience with Siamese cats (the last time I explained this, I just wrote Siamese - assuming ppl would understand - and someone asked me if my sister understood Siamese, Well she does understand the cats. :)

I think it is essential - even when we think we can rely on others - to have it written and legalized.

Prin
October 26th, 2005, 11:02 PM
My bf's cousin is a legal accountant and she told us that if you write out your will and have it signed by 2 witnesses (and yourself), then if you die, it can be notarized and considered legal. Just a thought if you don't have time... I don't know if it applies to people outside Qc or not...

That said, I don't have a will. My bf can pretty well prove that everything that is mine is his. I don't have very much stuff to my name (that's what you get for being non-committal...). Him on the other hand, I have been bugging for months. He was travelling for work this summer in tiny planes the size of cars, and if one should happen to go down, his mom will get this house. It's not about the stuff really for me; it's about living in the place we called home together, you know? Imagine having to move out after all that? Scary and sad.

But the doggies- unless we both go, either of us has enough receipts in each name to claim them. If we do both go, frankly, I don't trust anybody enough to take care of them so it would be a shot in the dark for me anyway. You know? Chances are they'd be with us anyway. :fingerscr There is a long list of people who want Jemma and Boo, but a lot of them are not the type to follow through and give them the care and attention that they are used to. If they refuse to feed good food, how can I leave my doggies there?

I don't mind death, but wondering where my doggies will go is very hard to think about. I hope whatever happens, they are ok.

Jazz&Cricket
October 27th, 2005, 08:56 AM
I do have a legal will which has been updated after my 2nd marriage, making sure my adult daughter and spouse shared equally in my estate. That being said, I did not make any trust arrangements for my pets. Rick C, what type of wording was used? similar to a trust for dependent children?
I would really like to incorporate a trust clause for my dogs as well.

BeagleMum
October 27th, 2005, 10:40 AM
I am not currently married but living common law. We bought a house together just over a year ago and the house s in both of our names. If I was to die, my half of the house would belong to my parents and not my BF. I find this so stupid, the govít considers us to be married when it comes to anything else.

Prin: Are you positive that is a QC law? My parents we told that they HAD to go to a notary for a will to be legal, that they couldnít just use a will kit.

Any ideas how much a notary would usually cost for this?

Rick C
October 27th, 2005, 11:20 AM
I do have a legal will which has been updated after my 2nd marriage, making sure my adult daughter and spouse shared equally in my estate. That being said, I did not make any trust arrangements for my pets. Rick C, what type of wording was used? similar to a trust for dependent children?
I would really like to incorporate a trust clause for my dogs as well.

In terms of EXACT wording, I'll see if I can dig it out for you . . . . taking off on a holiday tomorrow morning though.

The description below will probably suffice though:

The will designates our veterinarian the person who will find homes for our surviving pets. Abby and Keeper together. Daisy and Maude together. Polly and Skyler together. We have set aside a certain amount of money for the veterinarian as an outright gift for doing this for us.

In addition, we have set aside a further amount of money FOR EACH PET, to be used at the discretion of the veterinarian with oversight by our two executors, for the maintenance and care of the pets so long as they should live.

Upon passing of a pet, any leftover monies from the amount originally set aside for maintenance and care will go to a pre-designated animal charity of our choice.

So . . . . good homes will be found for them and their medical bills will be taken care of in perpetuity, the latter with oversight by our executors with a modest outright gift to the vet for finding homes for them.

There is a certain level of trust implicit in the vet. . . . but also some oversight by our surviving representatives.

Hope that helps.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

shannonRN
October 27th, 2005, 12:23 PM
taking off on a holiday tomorrow morning though.
You're going to bring back pictures, right? :D We'll be looking forward to them.

Prin
October 27th, 2005, 12:25 PM
I am not currently married but living common law. We bought a house together just over a year ago and the house s in both of our names. If I was to die, my half of the house would belong to my parents and not my BF. I find this so stupid, the govít considers us to be married when it comes to anything else.

Prin: Are you positive that is a QC law? My parents we told that they HAD to go to a notary for a will to be legal, that they couldnít just use a will kit.

Any ideas how much a notary would usually cost for this?
No, not a will kit. You write it up yourself and have it signed by two witnesses. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing. We talked to the noatry who did our house (she wasn't great) and she said $100 each, but I don't know if that's because we paid her for the house already.

Jazz&Cricket
October 27th, 2005, 12:56 PM
Thanks Rick, the outline is fine. I should be able to draft something that my lawyer will accept :) Have a good vacation!

Rick C
October 27th, 2005, 03:15 PM
You're going to bring back pictures, right? :D We'll be looking forward to them.

Atlanta . . . . NASCAR, NHL and PGA, a drive up into the mountains, civil war battlefields, antebellum mansions, walking the Chattahoochie, shopping arty districts, CNN, Coca-Cola . . . . got five full days to do it all!!! Probably some picture-taking going on too.

Thanks Rick, the outline is fine. I should be able to draft something that my lawyer will accept Have a good vacation!

You are welcome.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

doggy lover
October 27th, 2005, 03:55 PM
I've had a legal will kit sitting here for a few years, my hubby keeps on for me to do it. I just keep telling him that I'm not going anywhere, or maybe he has a plan to bump me off when I do it. Only kidding, I don't even know how legal these kits are but it says its good for Ont. residents, so I guess anything is better than nothing.

Jazz&Cricket
October 27th, 2005, 04:23 PM
I think the will kit is good if your estate isn't too complicated. Since I have an adult child (who lives in Europe) and I've remarried and owned my home and cottage prior to remarrying, I wanted to make sure the estate was divided equitably between my DH and daughter so I saw a lawyer. It was about $150 to have it done.

Schwinn
October 28th, 2005, 03:16 PM
Don't remember where I read it (I think it was MoneySense), but I seem to remember that I read that having a letter signed by two people being a will is actually an myth. Don't know if that is Ontario law, or Canadian or what. I've also been told that those will kits are a nightmare. Not when you do them, but when someone actually passes away. Being someone who has never done a will, I couldn't actually say. Just what I heard.

Cheryl got her will done when she got her first house. It states that her parents are to get a large part of her money, on the condition that they not use it for bills or anything practical. The actual wording (and I read this part of her will) is "the money is to be spent on something silly". Her lawyer who drew it up said that was the first time she ever had used the word "silly" in a legal and binding document.

I've never had a will because, quite frankly, I didn't have anything, or anyone to really worry about. My vehicles were all leased, and no one really wants my bike (that hurts!). Now that I'm married and Gracie is here, however, I really need to get one done, and Cheryl's updated. Right now, we have had a hard time picking someone as God parents. There is no one in either family that I am comfortable leaving Gracie with (I suggested we have some wording to the effect of "Gracie is to be taken to the woods where a suitable family of wolves will be located to raise her". Cheryl had issue with that. So I started thinking. There are no limits to who you can name as god-parent. You can name anyone you want, and there is nothing that says you can't name such-and-such person. So I've finally decided who I want to name. Sandra Bullock. Except now that she married that Jesse James goof...

Prin
October 28th, 2005, 03:19 PM
I think that Kelly Preston is a better mom. Or Tom Hanks' wife.