Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In
OMA Insurance
Not for profit. All for doctors.
HomeGet a QuoteMeet your Advisors | Making ClaimsWhat’s NewContact Us Print Friendly and PDF

Will power

We're ready to help.


Will power: the importance of estate planning.
OMA Insurance
The right insurance and investment strategies are two important parts of sound financial planning. The third part — your will — is an essential component of an effective estate plan, providing for an orderly transfer of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries, and the  opportunity to choose the executor of your estate.

Where there's a will there's a way" to protect your estate. The right insurance and investment strategies are two important parts of sound financial planning. The third part — your will — is essential for developing an effective estate plan.

"All three parts line up to form your overall plan," says Judy Wood, a senior insurance advisor with OMA Insurance.

A will provides for an orderly transfer of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries, and the opportunity to choose the executor of your estate.

Are you aware of what happens if you die without a valid will? This is what is known as dying "intestate." In such cases, Ontario law stipulates how your estate is distributed, and it often goes to family or other living relatives. Although there are rules in place, issues can occur, including:

  • The allocation might not reflect your wishes. Having the court settle your estate can lead to a possible undesired division, to unintended consequences (such as the government looking after your children's or grandchildren's inheritance until they are 18), or to family feuds.
  • You will not be able to leave any money or property (from real estate to possessions) to more distant relatives, friends, or charity.
  • The court will appoint an administrator of your estate, and no one will have the authority to act on behalf of your estate until that time. This could mean a significant delay for your beneficiaries to receive the proceeds. As a result, your estate might pay more in additional legal costs and taxes. The best way to defer tax upon death is to leave everything to your spouse, but this cannot be done if you die intestate.
  • A judge will decide on the guardianship of minor children, based on what he or she sees as being in the child's best interest (which may be contrary to your desires).

For more information, visit the online resources listed at the end of this article.

Lacking a valid will can also cause lengthy problems. For instance, Jimi Hendrix, Pablo Picasso, and Howard Hughes all died intestate. Their sizable estates took many years to settle, and were eventually divided up among multiple claimants simply because they did not have a will.

While having a will is a priority, it doesn't end your estate planning. "With significant life changes, you want to review your will," says Ms. Wood.

Changes, such as marriage, divorce, remarriage, a common-law relationship, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, the status of dependents, and retirement, can all affect your will.

It is easy to let such updates fall through the cracks, especially when work and life are so busy. However, it is important to talk to your tax lawyer or accountant to ensure that your will is current.

Keep your accountant, financial consultant and insurance advisor informed to ensure that you have adequate insurance working in concert with your estate, and that the financial well-being of your loved ones is secure.

When writing or updating your will, you may want to consider two additional needs: 

  • It is common to have a power of attorney prepared while writing or updating a will. A power of attorney for property means appointing someone to manage your financial affairs if you cannot do so. With a power of attorney for personal care, you can also appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal care and consent to treatment if you are unable to do so.
  • A second consideration is a "living will," which most physicians are very familiar with. A living will is a document that expresses your desires and directives around medical treatment should you be in a terminal state. Not all family members may agree on life-support decisions; a living will removes that doubt, helping to keep harmony in the family during a difficult time.

"Nobody likes to think about their death, but knowing that your estate will be settled as you wish, and in the most efficient way possible, provides peace of mind," says Ms. Wood.

For assistance in finding the right insurance solutions to suit your needs, please contact OMA Insurance at 1.800.758.1641, or email to schedule an appointment with one of our non-commissioned OMA Insurance Advisors.

Additional information is available on the OMA Insurance website at:

Online resources

  1. "When someone dies with or without a will," Government of Ontario
  2. "How an estate is distributed,” Ministry of the Attorney General