There have probably been several occasions in your life when some friends or well-wishers of yours gave you the advice to prepare a last will and testament. You may even think of doing it. But for some reason or another, you have never taken any steps to create or update your Will.
Don’t feel too alarmed because you are not the only one. Procrastination is a common human nature. According to statistics, only 38 percent of adults in Canada had signed a legally valid Will.
When we think of creating or updating a testament, we usually think of it as the last action before leaving the earth. It sounds too morbid. But, it’s not the case. You will see in our article that updating or creating Will and Testament has much more implication than usually thought.
You have the control of distributing your estate property
A will is a legally-binding document that outlines your plans and wishes regarding your estate property. It can be stocks, money, houses, or jewelry. A will determine how your property will be distributed after your death.
So, if you wish to pass on particular precious objects or some portion of your wealth to specific individuals, you must clarify it in your Will. Otherwise, your family member may engage in an acrimonious fight over your property after you die. With a will, you can make sure that there will be no more fighting over your wealth.
You select the Executor
An executor is someone who has the authority to carry out legal responsibility to take care of a deceased person’s remaining financial obligations. This person can be selected by the deceased person or by the court.
If the court decides the person to be the Executor of your Will, he/she may not be the person you would select for your property to handle. By updating or creating a will and testament, you can make sure that your trusted person will be the Executor of your Will.
You select your children’s guardian
If you don’t make a will, it will be up to the court to decide who will be the guardian to take care of your minor children. It’s an upsetting thought for anyone not knowing who will be the guardian of his/her children when he/she dies. By writing a will, you can appoint the desired person to raise your children.
Avoid a lengthy probate process
Probate is a process by which the Will is certified as the Last Will and testament and the Executor gets official authority to act as the estate administrator.
The first step of probate process will point out that you have no will (if you don’t make a will). As a result, the Executor can’t handle anything smoothly. The legal authority can be challenged very easily. The process will become lengthy, costly and complicated. The process is much simpler with a will.
Minimize estate taxes
Having a will can’t guarantee that you have to pay fewer estate taxes than usual. But, it will allow you to plan what tax deduction can be made. Your estate will be taxed as a whole in Canada. However, the portion you give away to charity or your family will be deducted from the value of your estate property. This way, you can minimize your tax.
Avoid legal challenges
If you die without a will, your property can be a matter of family feud for a long time. This thing happens even in a seemingly peaceful family. Your words will be valueless and can cause even more confusion. If you make a will, there will be no legal challenges over your property.
We don’t know what lies in the future, but we can definitely tailor it. A will provides a clear outline of the fate of your property once you die. As life is short and way too unpredictable, we need to update or create your Will and Testament when we have the time.