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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.