A will is a significant estate planning document that everyone should hold.
Many of us would not like to think about any longer being around, a Will is a document that expresses your final wishes and provides direction on how you would like your property to be distributed and make provisions for your loved ones. A Will is also important if you have dependent children, it will also name the legal guardians for children in the event of the death of both parents.
Laws are different for each province, so it’s advised to consider provincial legislation and regulations. These criteria may be explored with the assistance of a lawyer or other legal professional.
If you pass away without a Will, a court-appointed administrator will be required to distribute your assets as to how they think is right. If no one else is willing or capable of serving as your administrator, the Public Trustee will be named. In this case, the ‘Rules of Intestacy’ will be used to decide how your estate is divided, which does not guarantee that your loved ones will receive what you want. This is probably not the legacy you would want to leave to a grieving family.
Tips for Making a Will
Here are the tips for making a Will, in case of doubt you may consult a legal advisor.
#1 Name an executor
You need to appoint an executor when making a Will. You need to consider who will take care of and carry out all your instructions after you die. You need to choose the executor carefully also it is advisable that you appoint two executors. It’s best to name someone whom you can trust and who is willing to take responsibility. You may consider talking to them before writing a will to confirm their approval.
#2 Appointing guardians
If you have children under the age of 18 you should appoint a guardian for your children. This is only to secure the future of your children if the unfortunate happens and both you and your spouse or partner die at the same time? Name a guardian whom you can trust with your children’s safety and who will fulfil your wishes that embodies your values.
#3 Be specific
You may have special wishes, such as a donation to charities, cash amount to a family member, special family legacy gifts to family members. Make a note of everything in your Will to avoid any disputes later.
#4 Update regularly
You should revisit your Will after a few years. You may have any change in the circumstances such as a divorce, marriage, children, etc. Also, in case the value of your assets increases or decrease, it’s a good idea to check your will to make sure it’s correct, up to date, and covers all your assets.
#5 Will kits vs. professional advice
Technology makes everything available online these days and Wills are no exception. It is possible to write a Will online using paper-based DIY will kits that are readily available. However, these systems are not fully error-free, and one mistake can be very costly. Appointing a professional solicitor can help you ensure your heirs don’t experience any surprises.
#6 Sign the thing
It will seem self-evident, but it is worth repeating, particularly if you are writing your own will. There are also legal provisions for signatures and witnesses. A lawyer will assist you in ensuring that your will is valid and satisfies all legal requirements.
#7 Keep it in a secure place
Wills should be kept in a secure place. Many people keep a copy at home and put the original in a safe deposit box or keep it in the bank locker. Inform your executor of the location of the original.
Do’s and Don’ts for Making Will
Let us consider some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while writing your will:
- Do find a credible person to act as a witness
- Don’t rely solely on a joint will between you and your spouse
- Don’t leave your pets out of your will
- Do plan for emergency and end-of-life care, also known as a Living Will
- Don’t make an alternative version of a will
- Don’t forget to update your will
- Do express your wishes clearly
Estate planning can be more complex than it appears in the first instance, including the writing of Wills. To be able to get your last wishes executed in the manner you want them to be you need to hire legal experts. Consult Shergroup as your legal partner to help you with writing a Will. We can help you with covering all the essential points you need to remember while making a Will and ensure it is legally valid and is an accurate reflection of your wishes. Our trusted partners will do a complete review of your current situation and listen to your concerns and provide you with sensitive and expert legal advice. Contact us for a consultation today, write to us at [email protected].