6 Reasons You Need a Will

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6 Reasons You Need a Will

Having a will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. While getting a will may sound daunting, a simple, legally-binding, will can be completed by yourself, without the help of a lawyer, using a will template, such as the one found here.

You can decide who will manage your estate.

Managing an estate should be left to someone who is honest and well organized. This person is called your Executor. Without a Will to guide them, the courts will select an Executor on your behalf. The person chosen might not be the person you would have chosen if you had made a Will. Part of the peace of mind that comes from having a Will prepared is knowing that your estate will be settled by someone you trust.

You can appoint guardians for minor children.

If you have young children, choosing guardians to care for them in case both parents are deceased can be a challenge. The guardian(s) should of course be responsible and love your children. Other factors to consider include the candidates’ parenting philosophy and religious beliefs, and whether they live near other relatives and reputable schools.

You can choose your beneficiaries.

Most of us have strong feelings about who should inherit our money, real estate, personal possessions, and other assets–and who should not. Without a Will, you are unable to include or exclude specific beneficiaries. You must depend on the law and the government to decide the financial fate of your family and loved ones. The Canadian Government has rules to determine who inherits from you if you die without a Will. Most people don’t know what these rules are—and they might not be happy if they did! Speaking with a lawyer who can advise you of such rules would be in your best interest.

You can decide when and how much of your estate is given to your children.

If you do not have a Will, the Public Trustee is involved in the administration of your minor child’s share of your estate. This means that the government will have a say in your child’s financial future and the estate will be subject to applicable government fees.

You can save money on taxes and lawyers.

A Will can help reduce the amount of tax that is paid on the value of your property and money you leave behind. Not having a Will or having a poorly written Will may be very costly. The cost of a Will is minimal compared to additional costs that may otherwise be incurred.

Your Will may be out of date.

A Will may need to be revised from time to time to reflect a change in circumstances. As a general rule, a Will should be reviewed every three to five years to ensure that it is still current. A few reasons a Will may need to be revised include:

  • You have been married or divorced;
  • Someone named in your Will has died, or you would like to add additional beneficiaries;
  • You have had a significant increase or decrease in assets.

Given the importance of having a will, it is not something that should be put off until it is too late. A simple and inexpensive will can be completed quickly using this will template.