Category Archives: Blog

1 million meals? DYMON steps in to double gifts on Giving Tuesday

It takes strong businesses to support a strong community, and it takes a strong community to support strong businesses. Good companies steward their profits well for the good of customers, employees and the community, and one of those great companies is our partner, DYMON.

The storage solutions company was the naming partner of the expanded DYMON Health Clinic, which opened in 2019. Thanks to Dymon’s generous support, the Dymon Health Clinic provides quality medical and dental care to men and women in the community who may otherwise go without. Last year alone, the Dymon Health Clinic hosted 15,362 primary care appointments. This was a lifeline for many, particularly during the toughest days of the pandemic.

This is part of the reason we nominated DYMON for the AFP “Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist” award, and we weren’t surprised at all when they won. “They have a great leadership team,” says Erin Helmer, our Senior Officer of Corporate Philanthropy and Partnerships. “Dymon is a local company that started here in Ottawa, and they are very passionate about giving back.”

For the past several years, Dymon has been matching Giving Tuesday donations made to The Ottawa Mission. Held on the Tuesday after American Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday is designed as a counterbalance to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a day focused on spending money for the good of others instead of just on ourselves. This year Giving Tuesday will be on November 30th, and DYMON is ready to double the impact of donors’ gifts once again. In fact, they’re also committed to doubling the gifts made to The Ottawa Mission by any of Dymon’s employees.

As Dymon has grown, they’ve continued to evolve. They started off developing premier storage facilities and have expanded into home décor retail for storage-related needs and into custom closet and kitchen design and installation. Dymon has recently expanded into Toronto, and they show no signs of slowing down.

Even as Dymon expands beyond its original borders, they remain committed to Ottawa and its needs. “They don’t ever forget their roots and where they started,” says Erin. “They continue to be wonderful partners of The Ottawa Mission.”

This year’s Giving Tuesday funds will support the most immediate need in our community: the shocking rise in hunger. The need for meals has climbed more than 80% since the beginning of the pandemic. Before then, we were serving over 1,400 meals a day. With the surge of hunger and instability caused by COVID-19, we now serve about 2,500 meals a day. If current trends continue, that could mean almost 1 million meals needed in the coming year, right here in Ottawa.

With companies like DYMON investing in the community, we can meet this level of need. And thanks to programs in mental health and addiction treatment, job training, education and housing supports, we are working hard to reverse the trends. It’s always a good time to invest in these programs, but thanks to the DYMON match, your gift on Giving Tuesday will go twice as far.

Shaw Centre’s world-class food donations boost morale for clients

The Shaw Centre in Ottawa was recently honoured with the international APEX award for the World’s Best Convention Centre. Located downtown on the Rideau Canal, the beautiful facility hosts a wide variety of conferences and events. A world-class centre requires world-class meals, and Executive Chef Patrick Turcot does not disappoint.

Although things have looked very different during the pandemic, the Shaw Centre adapted to serve their clients while still remembering the less fortunate in our community. Every month, they donate food to our shelter — everything from egg rolls and samosas to cinnamon buns and smoked meat brisket.

“We’re happy to help those in need in our community by providing diverse and quality meals,” says Chef Patrick. “Knowing the food isn’t going to waste but is going to those who need it makes us feel good at the end of the day.”

In the past few months, the donations have been a huge help in feeding the shelter guests and community clients who turn to us for meals. We always aim to provide quality meals to our clients, and the fresh, local contributions from Chef Patrick and his team are a huge help.

Recent donations of waffles, sausages, turkey bacon were used in the daily breakfasts, and a donation of vegetarian mini burgers provided a delicious vegetarian option for a lunch entrée. Donated bread was used to make toast and sandwiches, and a large donation of salad dressing meant that we didn’t have to buy any for several weeks.

With so many more people turning to us for meals during the pandemic, the Shaw Centre’s donations make a significant difference. Currently, between our community meal program and Mobile Mission Meals food truck, we serve over 2,000 meals a day. “They have been a big help in meeting the increased demand we have had of late,” confirms Chef Percy Belford, the Manager of Kitchen Services at The Mission. “These donations have been a real morale booster for our clients. It’s great to see the smile on their faces when they see something special on the plate.”

One of the favourite recurring donations among clients are the cookies and squares, which are always a big hit for dessert. Each special treat or unexpected menu item offers our guests something to look forward to during a challenging time.

We’re so grateful at The Mission to have neighbours like the Shaw Centre just a few blocks away. They’re leaders in their industry, and their generosity is making our city a better place for everybody.

 

Cooking Up a New Dream: The Ottawa Mission Opens Up “Chef Ric’s”

Ottawa, ON – Today The Ottawa Mission celebrated its grand opening of its new social enterprise “Chef Ric’s” at the former home of Ottawa’s beloved Rideau Bakery. The Mission appreciates the grant of almost $417,200 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation as well as the contributions of so many donors and supporters to realize this project.

This new facility will expand The Mission’s very successful Food Services Training Program (FSTP), which provides graduates the skills and credentials to work in a commercial kitchen, as well as a storefront operation where all members of the community can purchase healthy prepared meal options at very affordable prices. Chef Ric’s will also expand The Mission’s growing catering business, with all proceeds directed back into the FSTP, and be the new home of The Mission’s Mobile Mission Meals food truck program, which has served over 120,000 meals since it began one year ago.

Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley noted the important connection to the Kardish family, the former owners and operators of the Rideau Bakery. “I’m delighted to welcome you here today to our very own “Chef Ric’s”, our new social enterprise at the former home of Ottawa’s beloved Rideau Bakery which provided a feeling of home, warmth and inclusion to people in our community for almost 90 years.”

Chef Ric Allen-Watson, Director of Food Services, noted the impact of the FSTP and how the expansion will help even more people in need. “Our space within our shelter wasn’t big enough to meet the demand and we had to turn applicants away, which we didn’t want to keep doing. Since 2004, this program has graduated 190 people, 90% of whom have gone to jobs in the food service industry. Through this expansion, we expect to graduate about 25 more students per year into new lives, self-sufficiency, and independence.”

Erica La France, a current FSTP student, explained what the program means to her. “I grew up in abuse, but I baked a lot, and that was something I really enjoyed. It was very therapeutic for me. I love the community feel of Chef Ric’s. We’re feeding a community of people that have that same basic need for food as somebody who is able to provide it easily. I have the connection to the community through Chef Ric’s. This program allows me to be independent and in charge of my own life.”

Mayor Jim Watson pointed out the continuing leadership of The Ottawa Mission to help people improve their lives through Chef Ric’s. “This new social enterprise is one more example of the innovative approach of The Ottawa Mission, our community’s oldest and largest homeless shelter, to help people rebuild their lives and attain pride, dignity and independence.”

Mathieu Fleury, Councillor for Rideau-Vanier, noted the impact of Chef Ric’s on his ward. “Your Food Services Training Program helps people to become independent by giving your graduates skills, training and a pathway to a job. And your food truck keeps people fed, including the five stops in this ward, which is very much appreciated. This ward needs this support. Our community has the highest rate of food bank usage in the province, and a much lower median income. Chef Ric’s and The Mission offer people hope and practical support to improve their lives.”

Lucille Collard, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier, noted the public investment in Chef Ric’s. “I’m glad that the province has supported this very worthy project through the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Public investment in social enterprises such as Chef Ric’s are an excellent and cost-effective way to provide as much benefit as possible to people in need.”

Lalit Aggarwal, President of Manor Park Management, explained about why he decided to support Chef Ric’s through charging only $10 per year for the enhanced space. “I learned that The Mission needed new space to expand the Food Services Training Program. People like Erica and so many others want to improve their lot. That’s the hook. This will now be even more important with the lingering effects of COVID-19 in our community. It’s great to see it all come together in the home of the former Rideau Bakery.”

Debbie Baylin, speaking on behalf of the Kardish family, extended their best wishes to The Mission on the opening of Chef Ric’s. “The Rideau Bakery was in operation for almost 90 years under the ownership of three generations of the Kardish family. Four generations of brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, were part of the operation.  Everyone learned how to work hard. We wish great success to “Chef Ric’s” and are confident that your workers share the diligence and work ethic that seemed to pervade the family and staff at the Rideau Bakery.”

Chef Ric concluded with a tribute to the Kardish family. “I’m so happy that our new home is the former Rideau Bakery, and that the Kardish family can be with us today to celebrate. Louis, David, Josh and Debbie: you will always be part of our family here at 384 Rideau Street.”

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and skills. In 2019-2020, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men every night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day.  The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of a new housing department. Visit ottawamission.com to learn more.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  Visit otf.ca to learn more.

FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
613-712-3092
E-mail: aleo@ottawamission.com

Vote housing at the polls

In a new Nanos poll, 78% of Canadians said they would be more supportive of a political party that proposed concrete action to end homelessness and build new affordable housing. As we prepare to vote this month, let’s review what the national parties propose around housing and homelessness.

Liberal

The Liberals are promising to build, preserve or repair 1.4 million homes over 4 years. They will push big cities to build middle-class homes, convert empty office space into housing, and introduce tax credits that support multi-generational family living. They will also scale up rent-to-own projects and offer a tax-free First Home Savings Account. In addition to this, they plan to double the First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit and introduce other measures that could save first-time buyers up to $30,000. Their proposed buyers’ bill of rights would include a ban on “blind bidding,” which can drive up sale prices on homes. They would also crack down on housing speculation and home flipping, and they would temporarily ban new foreign ownership in Canadian housing.

Conservative

The Conservatives pledge to build 1 million homes in the next 3 years. They commit to using 15% of federal-owned buildings for housing, and they would require municipalities receiving federal transit funding to increase density near transit. They will encourage investment in rental homes by allowing owners to defer capital gains tax when selling. They will also ban foreign investors from buying homes in Canada unless they plan to live in them or move to Canada. In addition, the party plans to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country. They will also provide $1 billion over five years for Indigenous mental health and drug treatment programs.

NDP

The NDP will create at least 500,000 units of affordable housing over the next 10 years, with at least half completed in the next 5 years. The party will introduce “fast-start funds” to create more co-op and non-profit social housing, use federal lands and resources for affordable housing, and waive the federal portion of the GST/HST on the construction of affordable rentals. They have also promised to double the Home Buyers Tax Credit and re-introduce 30-year terms to CMHC-insured mortgages for most first-time buyers. They will also create resources to facilitate co-housing, such as model co-ownership agreements. Finally, they will place a 20% foreign buyer’s tax on the sale of homes to people who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents.

Green

The Green Party wants to declare a national housing affordability and homelessness emergency. From there, they would adopt a national moratorium on evictions and create a residential arrears assistance program to protect people from becoming homeless. They would make new investments in cooperative housing, and they would retain the current tax on foreign homeowners while adding a tax on corporate owners of unoccupied residences. They also plan to enhance the Canada Housing Benefit and to redefine “affordable housing” using a formula that better reflects today’s reality.

The Nanos poll referenced above reveals that a shocking 4.9 million Canadians are worried about making next month’s rent or mortgage payment. With so much at stake, we encourage you to look into each party’s housing and homelessness policies as you prepare to cast your vote.

Sharing the faces and stories of people experiencing homelessness through photography

There’s a story written on all of our faces.

A story of who we are. Of where we’ve been.

Through her photography, Leah Denbok seeks to capture the stories of people experiencing homelessness and offer viewers a glimpse of their struggles.

In 2015, when she was only 15 years old, she created Humanizing The Homeless, a series of portraits of people experiencing homelessness primarily from Toronto. The striking images are accompanied by stories about their lives, their passions, and their struggles.

Leah was drawn to photography from a young age. After coming upon the work of British photographer Lee Jeffries and his striking portraits of people experiencing homelessness, her father Tim suggested she look for opportunities to create her own.

Leah said that growing up in a small-town in southern Ontario insulated her from the scale of homelessness in large urban centres like Toronto

“Going into it, I was somewhat naive about their lives and had many of the negative stereotypes that people often assume,” she said. “But as you soon discover, people experiencing homelessness can be some of the kindest, most humble people you’ll ever meet.”

But her belief in the project also comes from a personal place: her mother, Sara, was once homeless.

As a child, Sara was found in the streets of Calcutta, India in the early 1970s, and was brought by a police officer to Mother Teresa’s orphanage. From there, she was adopted by a Canadian couple near Collingwood.

“I realize that if not for people having empathy for people experiencing homelessness, I wouldn’t be alive,” she said.

Humanizing the people she photographs and encouraging empathy lay at the heart of the project.

After capturing hundreds of images and stories in cities in Canada and internationally, Leah said what inspires her to keep the project going is knowing that the work is helping change perspectives.

“I think if anyone actually took the time to listen to what people have had to go through and experience just to survive, they’d be shocked,” she said.

“I receive from people who’ve seen the photos saying they’re not just going to walk by anymore, and that they’ll stop just pretending that they aren’t there.”

After several years, Leah collected her works into three volumes of photography books, with all proceeds going to support local emergency shelters. The fourth book in the series will be released later this fall.

To learn more about Leah and her project, visit https://www.humanizingthehomeless.org/

Hobin Architecture helps build communities in more than one way

A city is more than just a collection of buildings and neighbourhoods.

It’s the people that make a city a community.

Focusing on people and the community has been the guiding light for local architectural design firm Hobin Architecture since its founding in 1979.

Architect Bryan Bonell, an Associate at Hobin who has been with the firm for over 30 years, has seen this principal guide the team in many of its design projects.

“We’re not just looking to make beautiful buildings, we also want to contribute to the fabric of the city and help provide services to people in need,” Bonell said.

Today, the firm continues to find new ways to contribute to building community in Ottawa, both through its design skills and its philanthropic efforts.

Earlier this year, Hobin Architecture started a fundraising campaign called You Give, We Give to encourage new donors to support four local charities, including The Ottawa Mission, The Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, The Multifaith Housing Initiative, and Cornerstone Housing For Women.

For the campaign, Hobin is matching new donations to the four organizations until the end of June, up to a total of $10,000 per beneficiary.

Choosing organizations that focus on providing affordable housing was a response to what they see as a growing crisis.

“We have such a shortage of affordable housing in the city,” Bonell said. “It’s reached crisis proportions.”

Through its design work, the firm has also helped contribute to providing high-quality, affordable housing throughout the city.

The firm’s founder Barry Hobin got his start in residential housing and that evolved into community-oriented affordable projects like the redevelopment of Beaver Barracks, the Bethany Hope Centre, and The Haven.

Hobin’s connection to The Mission runs deep, with one of the firm’s partners Gordon Lorimer serving on our board for many years.

The firm has also supported The Mission with their design talents, assisting with the expansion of the Diane Morrison Hospice, as well as renovations at the former LifeHouse building adjacent to The Mission at 55 Daly Ave.

For Bonell, the satisfaction from working on projects like those at The Mission comes from seeing them used to do good work.

“I think as a firm, we feel a certain responsibility to the community as a whole,” he said. “So it’s nice seeing everything come together and then turning the building over to a group of people who are really dedicated to helping the community.”

Help contribute to Hobin’s You Give, We Give campaign

The Mission’s Volunteer Family

There isn’t a single type of volunteer at The Ottawa Mission.

All of them have a story of how they arrived here, and different reasons that keep them coming back.

They have different ages, backgrounds and beliefs, but all of them come into the building with the same goal: they want to do some good for people.

From serving meals, to doing laundry, to supporting transformative programs for clients, the work that is done on Waller Street is only possible through the passion and generosity of our volunteers.

“They’re the cavalry coming over the hill,” said Jake Harding, The Mission’s Coordinator of Volunteer and Community Engagement Services.

“From a strictly operational point-of-view, without volunteers to help us, we could not do what we do,” he said.

That’s been especially true during COVID-19.

The impacts of the pandemic have been felt everywhere at The Mission, most notably in the huge growth in food insecurity across Ottawa and the need for food programs like the Mobile Mission Meals food truck.

Finding the helping hands to meet that growing need, in the middle of the pandemic, was the challenge that fell on the volunteer office.

Before COVID-19, the average volunteer would come in 9 hours per month, but now, that number is up to 14 hours per month.

But with many volunteers who are elderly or immune-compromised needing to stay home for safety, experienced volunteers and new ones alike have stepped up to take on more shifts to help meet the growing need for food in our community.

For some volunteers, having to staying away has been hard.

Normand Bradley started volunteering with The Mission 4 years ago, and over 2,000 hours of volunteering later, keeps coming back every week.

But last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Norman wasn’t able to leave the building he lives in for nine weeks, which prevented him from volunteering.

“It was terrible,” he said. “You become so close to the staff and other volunteers, it’s as hard as not seeing your family.”

However, the day he was allowed to leave again, he remembers the feeling of picking up the phone to call Jake and schedule a shift.

“It felt like I had won the lottery,” he said.

“If not now, then when?”

Svjetlana Gavric walked by The Mission every day on her way to work, seeing the growing demand for its services firsthand. She started volunteering on her own several years ago, and found herself quickly drawn into the community of care developed by the staff and volunteers.

“You meet so many different people that have crossed so many different paths,” she said. “And you learn something from each of them.”

With many volunteers having to stay away due to the pandemic, it’s been hard on the community.

“I’ve made real friendships here, the kind where you call to check in on one another,” she said. “Speaking with them, you can tell it causes them hurt that they aren’t able to come in.”

For Svjetlana, that’s one of the reasons it was still important for her to continue to serve, despite the risk.

“If not now, then when?” she said. “As long as there are people in need, we’ll be there. We have to come together as a community, now more than ever.”

“Help is like a two-way street here.”

Beyond the friendships that are built, for many volunteers, helping serve people experiencing poverty in our community has changed their perspectives on homelessness.

Cezar Iliescu is a law student at the University of Ottawa, just a few blocks away from The Mission.

“On campus, I feel many students know there’s a shelter over there, but not the exact details of what happens here,” he said.

It was while taking a social justice course that Cezar came to start volunteering at The Mission, and discovered the breadth of services offered here.

Eventually Cezar got other students involved through a student group he founded, including running a fundraiser and volunteering as a group.

“Before I introduced them, they all had their own biases and preconceptions about why people are homeless,” he said. “By volunteering here, they really learned how poverty affects people, and how homelessness can happen to anyone.”

Those fellow students he introduced have continued to volunteer on their own now, something Cezar attributes to the volunteer community and culture of The Mission.

“Help is like a two-way street here,” he says. “I’ve always been told here, if I ever run into food problems, or anything like that, we’re all here to help you.”

Working with others

As COVID-19 continues to present new challenges, the work continues in the volunteer office to help meet the need.

For Jake, he says the mental health challenge COVID-19 has presented to them has been twofold.

“For staff on the frontlines, it’s been isolating to not have the regular community of volunteers with us,” he said. “And for the volunteers not able to come in, they find it difficult to be away.”

“The community aspect is what we’re all missing,” he said.

But even through the trials of the pandemic, that community isn’t gone.

It’s kept alive through those that continue to serve, and by those looking forward to returning one day soon.

Power of Attorney. What Is It?

When people seek help with their estate planning, they usually understand the need for an up-to-date will. Some, however, are less clear on the need to have a Power of Attorney. Having such documents is important and wise. Here’s why.

A Power of Attorney is a legal, written document that allows you to appoint someone to act on your behalf. Essentially, it gives them the same powers you have to deal with your assets and your personal care. A Power of Attorney is only valid after it is signed and only for as long as you live.

There are two kinds of Power of Attorney:

  • Power of Attorney for Property covers your financial affairs and allows the person you name to act for you. A Continuing Power of Attorney for Property is a type of Power of Attorney for Property that allows the person you name to act even after you become mentally incapable.
  • Power of Attorney for Personal Care covers your personal care decisions, such as housing, nutrition, clothing, and health care, should you be unable to act on your own.

If you don’t have a Power of Attorney, a family member can make health care treatment decisions for you and can apply to the Court become your guardian of the person and of property. Alternatively, someone else, like a close friend, could apply to act for you. With a Power of Attorney, you get to choose whom you would like to act on your behalf.

Powers of Attorney are powerful documents and should be given to individuals only after carefully considering that they are trustworthy and able to do what is required. It is wise to ensure the people who need to know about these documents are aware of them and where they are located. They should also be kept in a secure place.

Powers of Attorney are practical documents that can make your life, and the lives of your family members, much easier. When you create or update your will, remember your Powers of Attorney, too.

Tax benefits for you and your estate

Every legacy gift through one’s will to The Ottawa Mission Foundation provides your estate with a tax receipt for the full amount of the gift. In the year of your death, you are deemed to have disposed of all of your assets. Because of this, your reportable income can be high. The charitable tax credit flowing from your gift can offset any tax owing from capital gains or the winding up of retirement funds. Your executor should consult an accountant about how to make use of the tax credit in the most beneficial way.

Susanne Greisbach is a Senior Advisor in Trust and Advisory Services with the National Bank and a specialist in Wills, Trusts, and Estate Law. Susanne is a member of The Ottawa Mission Foundation’s Allied Professionals Network. This group of volunteers from various professions – law, accounting, financial planning – bring their professional knowledge and technical expertise to The Foundation’s legacy giving program. To learn more about Susanne and our other allied professionals, please visit our Legacy Giving page

How You Can Help Shape Our Future

A charitable gift in your will is important. Each year, thousands of philanthropic Canadians leave a portion of their assets in their wills to support causes they care about. Such gifts help people fulfil their charitable dreams and wishes. They can also generate significant tax benefits for one’s estate. For The Ottawa Mission Foundation, charitable gifts from generous donors like you ensure that those experiencing homelessness will continue to have a warm place to sleep, nutritious meals, housing support, medical, dental and addiction treatment programs, and so much more. That’s why we are asking you to remember The Mission with your own legacy gift.

You may direct your future gift to any area of The Mission’s work that you like, including our many supportive programs, our endowment funds or for our day-to-day operations. Alternatively, you may allow us to direct your gift to where the need and impact are greatest at the time. Whatever you choose, a planned gift can ensure a strong future for The Mission. Opportunities abound and there is one that is just right for you.

A charitable gift of any amount in your will could be a truly powerful gift that may not be financially possible during your lifetime. After providing for your loved ones, a gift in your will would make a tangible, meaningful difference to what we strive to do daily at The Mission.

If you are considering leaving a legacy for The Mission, speak with your professional advisors. Then, please contact Christina Hunter Cadieux, Planned Giving Officer, by email at chuntercadieux@ottawamission.com or calling her at 613.277.4902. If you have already remembered The Mission in your estate plans, please let us know. We can partner with you to establish or confirm how you would like your future gift to be used, thank you personally, and offer you recognition if you wish.

Please help us build a lasting future. Thank you for remembering The Mission with a legacy gift.

Without A Will…

There are many reasons why we put off making a will. The process can be daunting. There is uncertainty about where to begin. Some think their estate is too small to bother. However, if we really understood the consequences of not having a will, especially for those we care about, we would be taking action—immediately.

Here are just some of the reasons why having a will is so important:

  • When you don’t have a will, the chances of having to apply to court for probate are much higher. When you have a will, combined with some good estate planning, you can often avoid this costly and time consuming process.
  • Without a will, the laws of the province in which you reside will determine how your assets are distributed on your passing. Your preferences may not be followed and could result in real hardship for your loved ones.
  • If you are parents of minor children, you lose your only opportunity to name a legal guardian of your choice—someone who could best meet the emotional and material needs of your children.
  • Finally, if minors are beneficiaries, they will inherit from your estate at the age of 18 with no strings attached. Some can handle such responsibility at this young age, while others cannot.

Having an up-to-date will is important. Think about the legacy that you would like to leave, and then seek professional advice and counsel. You—and your heirs— will be glad you did.

Without a Will is based on an article written by Peter Lillico, an estate planning lawyer with the Peterborough, Ontario firm of Lillico Bazuk Galloway Halka.