Most of us don’t want to spend our time thinking of our inevitable death, admittedly it can seem a little morbid. However, not preparing for the future can leave your family unprepared and unprotected in the event of your passing. Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family. A Last Will and Testament can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it. It is simply an instruction guide that outlines how you want your estate to be distributed, makes key points and expresses any final wishes. It will give you much-needed peace of mind that you, your spouse, children, relatives, etc. will all be legally protected. If you die without preparing a Last Will and Testament, your estate may not be distributed in the way you wanted, there may be unnecessary family feuds over financials, custody, assets, the burial process, etc. If this is not reason enough to get a will in place, then keep reading through our list of reasons why a Last Will & Testament is Necessary.
#1. Have Full Control over the distribution of your estate.
As explained above, a Will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding your estate in the event of your death. This may include things like money, houses, stocks, pensions, jewelry, etc. You will determine in your Last Will and Testament, how you want all of your assets distributed in the event of your death. For example; A family heirloom that you may want to pass on to a specific individual, you need to make clear intentions in the Will in order to minimize any disagreements that may arise. This applies to the entirety of your estate because if there is no Will in place for survivors to act on then it could result in unnecessary arguments, expensive legal action and failure for your wishes to be followed.
#2. You Can Name the Person Responsible For Managing Your Estate.
In the event of your death, your Executioner of the Will is the person that becomes responsible for carrying out your requests in the Will. They are the person that makes sure all of your affairs are in order and taken care of after your death. They become responsible for paying bills, cancelling credit cards, notifying the bank and government of your death and distributing all assets. This can be a large and overwhelming task for even the most prepared individuals. Therefore, it is important that you select this person carefully. Executors can be family members, but they don’t have to be. The person you choose for this large task needs to be someone most importantly that is honest, trustworthy, and organized.
#3. You Decide Your Children’s Guardian.
If you do not have an up-to-date Will that appoints the Guardianship of your children, the courts will be forced to take it upon themselves to choose a family member(s) or appointed guardian to take care of any minor children. The cost and time required to create (or keep up-to-date) a Will is nothing compared to the peace of mind that you will have, knowing your child is in the care of someone you choose and obviously trust. By ensuring you have a will in place, you can make sure you choose who raises your child in the event of your death, not the courts. Support is incredible, raising a child with a village is imperative. But, while having more than one person willing to take on the responsibility of your child is fortunate; it can sometimes be worse and cause major family rifts and arguments. Family tensions can rise steadily under normal circumstances, but under the stress of a tragedy and the loss of a loved one, it can become far worse. By doing due diligence, you can protect all survivors to the best of your ability.
#4. Minimize your Estate Taxes
Having a Will does not always mean that you will pay fewer taxes but it does allow you the opportunity to be prepared. You can foresee and plan what tax deductions might be made. In Canada, your estate will be taxed as a whole before any distributions are made. However, the value of assets you give to family or charity will be deducted from the value of your estate. So giving generously can drastically reduce your estate value and in turn the taxes.
#5. You Can Choose to Disinherit People
You can choose who inherits each portion of your estate, but you can also choose to disinherit people in your will. This is a legally binding way to ensure that people that may have stood to inherit your estate if you die, can not have access to any of it. Without a will, your estate could end up in the hands of an ex-spouse or estranged relative. This is especially important in the cases of separation without a formal separation agreement.
Times have thankfully changed; creating a Will used to be a costly endeavor, so there were many people who chose to only do it as they grew older, leaving many people unprepared in the event of accidental death. Preparing a Last Will and Testament is about smart financial planning. You can create a Will now, and update it throughout your life as circumstances change at an affordable price. At Relocate Stress Free Inc, we would love to assist you with planning and helping you protect yourself and your family.