What is a will?
A will says who receives property upon death and how much.
Ontario law says a will must be in writing. There are three kinds of written wills allowed in Ontario.
A person who makes a will is called a testator.
If a testator is signing a typed will, it must be signed by the testator at its end, dated and witnessed by two other persons. There are very specific rules in Ontario for how a typed will is witnessed and who can be a witness. A lawyer can explain these rules.
A testator can also write out a will entirely in his or her own handwriting, date and sign it. No witness is needed. Ontario law will allow this, as a holograph will. A lawyer can explain the rules for making a holograph will.
A member of Canadian Forces placed on active service, a member of other naval, land or air force on active service or a sailor at sea can also make a will without a witness. A lawyer can explain the rules for this kind of will.
A lawyer can assist in figuring this out if a written document is a will. Sometimes the court has to be asked for help.
This information is provided by Goddard Gamage LLP subject to our Disclaimer.