I am always shocked when I meet with a client or friend who tells me that they don’t currently have a Will in place. hear stories like, “Yes, I guess I should update it now that I am divorced” or, “Yeah, I know I should but I still haven’t decided exactly what I want to do with my estate.” Believe me, your ex-spouse isn’t going to remind you to change your Will, and if you don’t have a Will the Government will take care of things as they see fit. hear many reasons why people do not have an up to date Will, but none of them are very good reasons.
For most people it is not complicated to have a Will prepared. It can also be a time to reflect on your estate (wealth) and consider what would be the best way to distribute your assets and prized possessions? Would you like to protect the assets that you are leaving to your children or are you okay to have them exposed to creditors and marital breakdown? Have you ever thought about creating a lasting legacy through a charitable foundation of your own?
Regardless of our wealth and family treasures, all of us would like to see certain paintings / jewelry passed along to certain intended people. Without a Will your estate will be distributed as per your province’s rules. This means for example that not everything will pass to your spouse … in fact if you have children, it may mean that your spouse is only entitled to a portion of your estate.
Having your Will prepared should be a very positive experience. It is an opportunity for you to pass along gifts that recognize loved ones, make a difference in the lives of others, and leave your legacy.
If you are interested in some “things to think about as you consider your Will” contact me and I will mail along our most recent Will & Will Planning Guide. Once you have reviewed it I can also arrange for clients to meet with a lawyer for a consultation.
Coming up soon … Powers of Attorney.