Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I tell if the Will I wrote is legal and valid?

A: We can review your document and advise you.

Q: I am unable to sign my name. How can I make a Will?

A: A lawyer can supervise your applying your initials and script a special paragraph to the Will to accommodate this and make it legal and valid.

Q: Does my Executor have to live in Manitoba?

A: No, an Executor can reside anywhere else as long as he or she is not a minor and is of sound mind. However, if he or     she lives outside of Canada, a bond would be required by our Court.

Q: Can my Power of Attorney also be my Executor?

A: Yes, as long as he or she meets the basic prerequisites.

Q: Can my Executor be a beneficiary?

A: Yes, that would not be a conflict.

Q: Can my mother make a Will if she has been diagnosed with Alzheimers?

A: The prerequisites of being able to perform this task is that the person be of sound mind, memory and understanding.     This includes knowing the approximate amounts of her bank accounts and investments, knowing the whereabouts of     her assets, the approximate value of her entire estate, and knowing the names of the persons she wants to inherit her     estate. It is unlikely that a person in the advanced stages of Alzheimers would be able to meet the above tests.

Q: The Public Trustee has been looking after my Dad’s money while he is in a nursing home. Can I handle his estate     when he dies?

A: If your Dad has not made a valid Will, an application would have to be made to the Court of Queen’s Bench to appoint     you as an Administrator, and you would have to be a resident of Manitoba and post a bond.

Q: My mom is 90 years old and never made a Power of Attorney. How do I help look after her and her personal business?

A: If she is mentally competent, then you can simply get a Power of Attorney done by a lawyer appointing you her lawful     attorney if she so wishes. If on the other hand, she is confused or suffers from a form of dementia, then she would not     be able to sign any legal document. If she owns assets which must be dealt with and she is not able to exucute a     Power of Attorney, there are two possibilities:

  1. Request the intervention of The Public Trustee; or
  2. Apply to the Court of Queen’s Bench to be appointed as her Committee. (This is rather costly and therefore it is best to have done a Power of Attorney early in life.)

Q: Do I need to have witnesses to my Will?

A: A holograph will (one written entirely in your own handwriting) does not need a witness; however, on death, your     Executor has the job of proving it is your handwriting and providing evidence that you were of sound mind, memory and     understanding at that time.

Q: I am a common law spouse. If my partner dies without a will, where do I stand?

A: The law provides for common law spouses in certain circumstances to inherit the first $50,000 of the estate as well as get homestead rights. Each case turns on its own particular facts.

A typed will requires two adult, independent witnesses. If a witness is a beneficiary, then any gift to that person becomes void.