No one wants to think about their mortality, and for that reason, many people delay creating a will. However, estate planning is essential if you want to ensure your closest loved ones will be taken care of after you pass away.
What are the benefits of having a will?
A will is a legal document in which you declare who will manage your assets after you die. These assets may include your homes, finances, and things of sentimental value. A will can also state who you wish to become the guardian of your minor children or adult children with special needs.
Having a valid will gives you control over how your assets will be distributed and can help prevent conflicts among your family members as it guides what should be done. A will also allow you to include beneficiaries outside of your family.
What happens if you don’t have a will when you die?
An Angus Reid survey found that about 51% of Canadian adults don’t have a will, while only 35% have an updated one.
If you don’t have a valid will at the time of your death, your estate will go through intestate succession. A judge will appoint an administrator to distribute your assets according to the law, perhaps contrary to your wishes.
Do you need a lawyer to write a will?
As long as your will meets the legal requirements of your province, it’s valid whether you wrote it yourself or a lawyer did. However, it would be wise to hire an experienced lawyer who can give you helpful advice and simplify the process.
Why should you hire a lawyer?
The following are reasons you should hire a lawyer to draft your will:
- A will is a legally binding document. Any mistakes, such as leaving out assets or naming the wrong executor, can cause problems for your beneficiaries and result in additional legal costs.
- A lawyer can review the document and ensure it meets all the legal requirements.
- A lawyer can help reduce the tax burden of your beneficiaries.
- A lawyer can give you legal advice and help you navigate complicated family dynamics, and avoid a will variation.
- If your mental capacity is challenged in later years, a lawyer can vouch for your mental capacity during the preparation of the will.
- A lawyer can help you ensure that your will is updated and contains all the right clauses to fit your situation.
Communicating your final wishes to your family isn’t enough. For your wishes to be honoured after your passing, the courts will need to see your wishes in writing in a properly formulated will.
If you don’t have a will or your will is outdated, do not hesitate to contact a will lawyer.
Do you need a will lawyer in Oakville?
At Anna Gurevich Law, we can help you draft or update your will to ensure your final wishes are clear.
Call us today to schedule an appointment.