The Importance of Having a Will

The purpose of a will is to designate the new owner of your belongings, assets, finances, and the caretaker of your dependants when you pass. Did you know that 51 per cent of Canadians don’t have a will? In this survey, the reasons they state for not having one ranged from feeling they were too young, not having enough assets, and that thinking of their demise was uncomfortable.

Sounds familiar?

If you don’t have a will (yet), you’re not alone and we would like to discuss the importance of this document no matter what life stage you’re in.

For Your Assets and Finances

A will declares who gets your assets (like properties and vehicles) when you pass as well as the positive net worth you leave behind. However, there isn’t a minimum you need to have in order to get a will. Will are not just for the extremely wealthy. Wills can be drafted for the smallest monetary amounts and even for sentimental items that don’t hold monetary value. Having a will can help your family avoid emotional turmoil over who gets what. It allows you to divide your assets, money, and belongings as you wish.

For Parents and Guardians     

If you have children, a will is a must. Should you pass away while they are still minors, who will take care of them? Do you feel comfortable leaving it up to your relatives or the courts to sort out? The best move for parents to make is to designate a legal guardian for the children in their wills.

Then, there is the question of who receives your assets and at what age? If you want your children to receive certain assets or financial amounts at a certain age, you need to put it in your Will.

Remember! Children cannot inherit before they are 18. As such, the Will is needed to determine who manages their share of the inheritance until they reach the age of majority, how their inheritance is managed and whether it is desirable that they receive their entire inheritance at age 18, at a later age selected by you, or gradually over the course of several years after their 18th birthday.

To Name the Executor of Your Will

Another important reason to have a will is that it names the executor of your assets. This is the person who will be responsible for distributing the items in your will to the right people. They will pay off any bills you have, notify banks of your passing, cancel your credit cards, and handle any other related affairs. This does not have to be a family member as long as they are trustworthy and organized. In fact, you may want to save your family from this responsibility. For people with no family and friends in Canada, a lawyer or a financial advisor at an approved institution can play the role of an Executor.

What If You Don’t Get a Will?

If you procrastinate this important process or decide not to partake in it, the courts will decide what happens to your belongings and finances. They’ll also decide who should get legal custody of your children. This could put your family through more stress and cause unnecessary anxiety during their time of mourning.

How Do I Get a Will?

To get a will, contact a law firm that specializes in preparing wills. At Mikhailitchenko Law Office, our lawyers can prepare and write a legally binding will for you. You can make changes to your will at any time. Call our office to get started today: (416) 307-2070.

Note: Link to “this survey” above –