Most people believe they should have a Will, but only 40% of adult Canadians actually do and a smaller percent keep it current. That’s a huge gap, and there are two reasons I hear over and over:
- “I don’t need a Will, I don’t have any assets”; and
- “I just haven’t got around to it yet.”
#2 is easy, call me at 519.835.0007 and we will get started today.
#1 is usually a lack of understanding about what a Will is and what it does for you. Yes, if you have assets you can provide instructions in your Will about how they will be distributed, but your Will also includes who will become Guardian of your children, any funeral arrangements or preferences, who will care for your pets, etc.
If you die without a Will, default rules apply instead of your own decisions. Sometimes the result is undesirable and sometimes it is actually pretty terrible.
Here are a few examples:
- If you don’t name a guardian to take care of your children, the Court decides from any volunteers. For a parent there is nothing more important than ensuring your children are taken care of and you do this by making a Will.
- If you are living with a partner but not married, the default rules say they receive nothing. By specifically including or excluding your partner in a Will, you help avoid costly and stressful litigation for your family.
- If your parents are divorced they each inherit 50%. If you have a better relationship with one parent, you likely want them to receive more or all of your Estate. Write it in your Will.
- If you have assets, the government gets a big percentage in fees and taxes. With a Will you can protect that value and give it to your children or other beneficiaries.
- If you have investment properties owned as Tenants in Common, name the new owner in your Will.
- If you have a business, or shares in a business, naming a specific owner is responsible succession planning. In this case the Will protects you, your clients and suppliers.
How to Make a Will
Making a will is a 3 step process:
- review the key decision points for your Will
- meet with me to discuss your choices
- draft, sign and put in secure storage
Call me at 519.835.0007 to get started today.