Wills & Estates - Finances

Managing day to day finances properly takes time, thought, and planning. Many Canadians carry a certain amount of debt as part of their overall financial picture. With proper financial planning, you’ll be able to determine how much money you’ll need for monthly expenditures, future savings, and be able to manage debt effectively. Part of your financial planning should include writing a will and estate plan - legal documents that address who you would like to leave your financial assets to after you die. Subjects included in a will range from who will inherit your home, land, and financials, to naming guardians and providing for minor children, to detailing how debts should be paid. Do you have questions about your writing a last will and testament, and what should be included? Would you like guidance or information from an estate planning or legal professional for yourself, a friend or loved one? Are you looking for resources within your community to help you write a will? Kinjunxion is here to help with sources of support and information.

You are not alone. Connect with others who may be going through the same thing, find professional help and resources near you. The Kinjunxion community is here to help.

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General Topics and Information - Halton Region - Estates Administration and Finding a Will - Halton

ESTATES:
For general Information, see Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General website here.

Estate Administration Tax and Estate Information Return:
* For information, see Ontario Ministry of Finance website here
* Estate Information Return Guide
* Estate Information Return Form (if using too old a version of Adobe to open, select 'Open with Different Viewer' near top right of screen, then open or save).

Federal benefits and income tax when someone dies
See Canada Revenue Agency website here.


WILLS:
Preparing a will
* there is no government-issued standard form for wills in Ontario
* some books or kits available at libraries, bookstores and stationery stores have advice and forms, but many advise the hiring of a lawyer
* also see Advocacy Centre for the Elderly's Information about wills here

To find a current will that was prepared in Ontario:
1. It may have been deposited in the Superior Court of Justice Depository
* any testator (the person who makes a will) can deposit a will with the registrar of the court in any Superior Court of Justice courthouse in Ontario
* this is not a complete central registry of wills, it includes only wills which testators have chosen to deposit.
* to request an electronic search, contact any Estates Department of the Civil Office of the Superior Court of Justice (for list of court addresses and phone numbers, see here)
* those who are hearing-impaired may request a search via TTY line at 416-326-4012.
* accessing a deposited will is governed by Rule 74.02 of the Rules of Civil Procedure (see here)

2. If the will was prepared by a lawyer:
* the lawyer should have a copy
* if lawyer is not known, the Law Society of Upper Canada or local legal associations may notify their members that the will of a certain person is being sought
* if lawyer is no longer practising, wills in their possession may have been deposited with the Law Society of Upper Canada, Trustee Services, for more information see here

3. Wills Registries:
Some people deposit their will and other documents related to their estate with a private business that provides a wills registry.

4. If the deceased's personal representative has filed an application for a certificate of appointment of estate trustee with a will at the Superior Court of Justice:
* any person may inspect the file and obtain a copy of the will upon payment of the prescribed fee, unless a judge of the court has ordered the file sealed
* for more information see Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General information here

5. If the will has already been filed with an Ontario court for probate:
* see Archives of Ontario information on How to Find a Will in Court Records here

For Ontario wills filed with the Court of Probate and Surrogate Courts between 1793 and 1970:
See Archives of Ontario information here

Ontario. Ministry of the Attorney General, Court Services - Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee - Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee - Hamilton Branch

A government agency that protects mentally incapable people, protects the public's interest in charities, searches for heirs for estates which the OPGT administers, invests perpetual care funds, and deals with dissolved corporations.

Ontario. Ministry of the Attorney General, Court Services - Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee - Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee - Hamilton Branch

A government agency that protects mentally incapable people, protects the public's interest in charities, searches for heirs for estates which the OPGT administers, invests perpetual care funds, and deals with dissolved corporations.

Ontario. Ministry of the Attorney General, Court Services - Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee - Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee - Hamilton Branch

A government agency that protects mentally incapable people, protects the public's interest in charities, searches for heirs for estates which the OPGT administers, invests perpetual care funds, and deals with dissolved corporations.

Canada.Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada - Hamilton Central

Supervises the bankruptcy system, provides information on the bankruptcy process to debtors, and responds to complaints from bankrupts and creditors.

Burlington. Finance Department - Burlington City Hall

The City of Burlington Finance Department is responsible for:
* municipal budgets
* financial statements
* property taxes
For property tax reduction / deferral programs, see separate listing here

General Topics and Information - Halton Region - How to Find - Legal Help and Information, Power of Attorney and Wills - Halton

This listing gives an overview of how to find legal services, free information/consultation, free legal services for people with low income, information on wills and Powers of Attorney, and is also an index to related listings in this directory.

LEGISLATION
1. City of Burlington By-Laws, see here
2. Ontario law: see Government of Ontario e-Laws here
* laws viewed on, downloaded or printed from e-Laws are official copies of the law
3. Federal law: see Government of Canada Justice Laws website here
* consolidated Acts and regulations on the Justice Laws Website are official, and can be used for evidentiary purposes


FREE LEGAL INFORMATION (available to anyone):
Note: when looking at legal information online, it's of primary importance to ensure it applies to the law in Ontario

1. Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO)
Education arm of Ontario's Legal Aid system (see full listing here)
* provides legal rights education and information to people who face barriers to accessing the justice system, including income, disability, literacy, and language and legal resources and print publications
* partners with other legal organizations to provide: Steps to Justice (question and answer modules on everyday legal problems experienced by people in Ontario) and YourLegalRights (legal information on a wide range of topics, in a variety of languages, produced by hundreds of organizations from across Ontario)

2. Family Law Information Centre services are available in family courts across Ontario, including the Milton Courthouse (see full listing here)
* information about separation and divorce and related family law issues, family justice services, alternative forms of dispute resolution, local community resources and court processes

3. Law Society of Upper Canada, Referral Service (see full listing here)
* provides the name of a lawyer or paralegal in your area, who will give a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you determine your rights and options.

4. Legal Line (see full listing here):
* free online and recorded information on a wide range of topics
* can also provide referrals for those wishing to hire legal advice and services

5. Pro Bono Ontario (see full listing here) provides free legal services for persons being sued or who are suing in civil courts or require help with problems in employment law, consumer law, and housing


FREE LEGAL INFORMATION (for teens):
1. Teen Legal Helpline (see full listing here):
* free, confidential online advice for youth and young adults 13 years and older


FREE LEGAL SERVICES (for people with low income and/or other determinants):
1. Aboriginal Legal Services (see full listing here provides free legal services in the areas of:
* landlord and tenant law
* Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Plan (ODSP)
* Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD)
* human rights
* police complaints
* criminal injuries compensation
* poverty law
* Indian Act

2. Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples Community Legal Clinic (see full listing here) provides free legal services in the areas of:
* immigration and refugee law
* social assistance (OW and ODSP)
* landlord/tenant law
* human rights and employment law
* Employment Insurance (EI)
* Canadian Pension Plan (CPP)

3. Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (see full listing here) provides free legal services to persons who speak Chinese (Cantonese) * Chinese (Mandarin) * Vietnamese (interpreters available for Khmer, Lao when arranged in advance), and cannot communicate in English, related to:
* immigration
* tenant issues
* social assistance
* employment rights
* human rights
* poverty law

4. Halton Community Legal Services (see full listing here) provides free legal services related to:
* Ontario Works
* human rights
* tenants' rights
* disability benefits
* government pensions
* employment insurance
* employment standards

5. HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (see full listing here) provides free legal services for people living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario
* services include summary legal advice, brief legal services, referrals and legal representation
* areas of legal practice include: government income maintenance/income security programs, tenant/housing matters, immigration and refugee law, human rights, employment standards, privacy law, health law, substitute decision-making and powers of attorney (advice), and HIV-related prison matters

6. Legal Aid Ontario (see full listing here) provides free legal services related to:
* criminal law
* family law
* immigration and refugee law


REDUCED-COST LEGAL SERVICES:
1. JusticeNet (see full listing here)
Not-for-profit service for those with income too high for Legal Aid but too low to afford standard legal fees
* serves those with net family income under $59,000, and experiencing financial difficulties
* lawyers, paralegals and mediators found on the site devote a portion of their practice to qualifying clients at reduced fees, on a sliding scale according to income and number of dependents


TO FIND A LAWYER OR PARALEGAL
1. To search by name: Lawyer and Paralegal Directory (here)
2. To search by specialization: Directory of Certified Specialists (here)
3. For referral to a lawyer (also provide up to 30 minutes free consultation, but not advice or services): Law Society of Upper Canada, Referral Service (see separate listing here)


TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A LAWYER OR PARALEGAL:
* Law Society of Upper Canada Lawyer Complaints Services (see here)


REMOVING A PAST RECORD:
* Pardons Canada (see full listing here)
* nonprofit organization that specializes in assisting with pardons (record suspensions), purges, file destruction and USA entry waivers


POWERS OF ATTORNEY:
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
* Information is available from its website here
* Power of Attorney kits available free by calling 1-800-366-0335, or downloading here


WILLS:
There is no government-issued standard form for wills
* Advocacy Centre for the Elderly website has Information about wills here
* To find an an existing will, see listing for Estates and Wills here

Oakville Museum At Erchless Estate

The museum offers guided tours of the Chisholm family home, changing exhibitions, special events and education programs that tell the stories of Oakville.

Permanent exhibits available in French and English include:
* Freedom, Family and Opportunity: Oakville's Black History
* The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom! (30 minute multimedia presentation)

Oakville Museum is comprised of:
* Erchless Estate- historic home of Oakville's founding family, the Chisholms, completed in 1858
* Custom House built in 1856
* Oakville's First Post Office in Lakeside Park built in 1835
* Satellite exhibition space at Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, 2302 Bridge Road

For current programs and exhibitions refer to the Oakville Museum website

* designated as a local warming centre during times of extreme cold

Burlington. Finance Department - Property Tax Reduction / Deferral - Burlington City Hall

Tax Rebate / Reduction
1. Low Income Seniors Property Tax Rebate
* City of Burlington property tax rebate of $ 525 for eligible seniors (see "Eligibility" below)
* application deadline December 31 each year
Contact or see website for more information and application form

Tax Deferrals
Note: using a tax deferral will make homeowner ineligible for tax rebate, and may have impact on other tax credits

1. Low-Income Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Property Tax Increase Deferral
Defers increases in property taxes
* for low income seniors and low income persons with disabilities (see "Eligibility" below)
* a Region of Halton program, administered by the four local municipalities
* allows eligible homeowners to defer property tax increases to keep payments at a constant level as long as the property is their principal residence
* accumulated total of all deferred amounts is paid when property is sold or no longer the applicant's principal residence
* a lien is registered against the property at the time of the first deferral, and applies to all future deferrals
* application must be made annually, on or before 45 days after the mailing of the final property tax bill, which normally occurs in early June
Contact or see website for more information and application form

2. Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program
Defers the full amount of property taxes for older adults under a certain income
* deferral is interest-free, but a lien is registered against the property
For more details, see full listing here

Burlington. Finance Department - Property Tax Reduction / Deferral - Burlington City Hall

Tax Rebate / Reduction
1. Low Income Seniors Property Tax Rebate
* City of Burlington property tax rebate of $ 525 for eligible seniors (see "Eligibility" below)
* application deadline December 31 each year
Contact or see website for more information and application form

Tax Deferrals
Note: using a tax deferral will make homeowner ineligible for tax rebate, and may have impact on other tax credits

1. Low-Income Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Property Tax Increase Deferral
Defers increases in property taxes
* for low income seniors and low income persons with disabilities (see "Eligibility" below)
* a Region of Halton program, administered by the four local municipalities
* allows eligible homeowners to defer property tax increases to keep payments at a constant level as long as the property is their principal residence
* accumulated total of all deferred amounts is paid when property is sold or no longer the applicant's principal residence
* a lien is registered against the property at the time of the first deferral, and applies to all future deferrals
* application must be made annually, on or before 45 days after the mailing of the final property tax bill, which normally occurs in early June
Contact or see website for more information and application form

2. Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program
Defers the full amount of property taxes for older adults under a certain income
* deferral is interest-free, but a lien is registered against the property
For more details, see full listing here

Hamilton Community Legal Clinic - Hamilton Pro Bono Project

Provides lawyers who volunteer their time to make wills for people who cannot afford to pay for these services. Can assist people with disabilities, people with terminal illnesses, single parents, and low-income adults. Operates out of the office of the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.

Oakville Museum At Erchless Estate - March Break & Summer Day Camps

March Break at the Oakville Museum:
* full day activities for ages 6-10 years

Summer Day Camps
Ages 4-6 (half days):
* Mini Museum Explore Fairy Tales
* Mini Scout it Out @ the Museum

Ages 6-9 (full days):
* Museum Motion and Commotion

Ages 7-11 (full days):
* Scout it Out @the Museum!
* The Museum Scene
* Tales from Long Ago
* Museum Material World

Ages 8-12 (full days):
* Museum Curator Camp

For further information refer to the website or the Parks, Recreation and Culture Guide