Wills and Estates

Wills & Estates Consultation


Dealing with wills and estates after a loved one passes can be a stressful time as many of us must deal with both grief and the frustrations of dividing property. At Devry Frank Smith LLP (DSF) we make this time easier for all with our experienced team of wills and estate lawyers. Toronto area residents can choose from one of our three convenient locations in TorontoBarrie and Whitby to find their ideal wills and estate lawyer to meet their needs.


At DSF, we work with a team of wills and estate lawyers Toronto area clients can rely on for comprehensive counseling and mediation for the following services:

Estate Settlement Without a Will (Intestate Succession): When no will is present at the time of a person’s death, property is distributed in accordance with the Ontario Succession Law Reform Act. The cornerstones of this are as follows:

  • A spouse is entitled to “preferential share,” and any children have an interest in the balance. The spouse does not receive the full amount of estate rather the preferential share being $200,00 for the estates of persons who die before March 1, 2021 and $350,00 for the estates of persons who die on or after March 1, 2021. O. Reg. 122/21, S.1. and the remainder divided dependent on the specific facts of the estate matter (i.e. between children and spouses).
  • Surviving spouse and no children: Your spouse receives the entire estate
  • No spouse or children: Estate goes to your next of kin, determined by the Succession Law Reform Act
  • Child under 18 years of age: Their share will be administered by the Ontario Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee. They are given their share when they turn 18

Estate Settlement with a Will (Testate Succession): A DSF wills and estate lawyer can help you both navigate creating a will and work with you to ensure that a will’s terms are carried out to avoid the will being contested. When a will exists, it can and should stipulate the following:

  • Who will act as trustee for minor beneficiaries
  • Whether monies can be paid either on account of income, principal or both, to minor beneficiaries prior to their age of majority
  • Whether monies can be paid to the parent or guardian of a minor beneficiary for the benefit of the minor beneficiary
  • At what age a minor beneficiary will be entitled to his or her share of your estate, either in installments or at one time
  • Specify who will receive your personal and household effects


Will Creating and Updating: While many of us know the importance of creating a will, we often fail to update that will as life circumstances change. For example, your will should be updated when:

  • Beneficiaries or trustees need to be added or removed
  • When you are separated from a spouse
  • When tax rules change
  • When there are major changes to property or wealth


Choosing powers of attorney is the best way to avoid disputes and potentially having the Ontario Public Guardian and Trustee appointed when you have not made a selection. There are two types of powers of attorney for you to designate in your will:

  • Powers of Attorney for Property: The person designated looks after financial affairs
  • Powers of Attorney for Personal Care: The person designated is responsible for decisions regarding care and medical treatment when you are not able to do so

Note: Although the Substitute Decisions Act enables a court to appoint a guardian for property or for personal care, it is not necessary to apply to the court for such purpose if an lawyer has been designated under a power of attorney. If there is a dispute, your power of attorney is clear guidance to the court of your preferences regarding the choice of guardian of your care and property.

We offer multiple convenient locations in TorontoWhitby, Barrie and more to serve our clients better. Find the office closest to you by calling us at  416-449-1400 or by visiting our locations page.

DSF has lawyers for this practice area in locations other than our Don Mills location. if you would prefer to work with one of our lawyers in one of our other offices,
please click on your preferred location below.

Call us at 416-449-1400 for available options or to