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Why A Will?

Posted by Carsten Sorensen on Feb 08, 2015

 Why Make a Will?

Just as in building a home, sound financial planning starts with a solid foundation.  Debt Elimination, Life Insurance, Disability Income Protection, Cash & Savings and most certainly a properly drawn will, all need to be part of your plan.

A will is essential in establishing the orderly settlement of an estate after death.  If a will does not exist, the system will create one for you. An intestate will is a will by default. Without a will provincial law outlines how an estate is to be settled, which may not necessarily reflect your wishes.

    • The court will appoint an executor and trustee for the estate. This person may not be as competent or as sympathetic to your family as an executor chosen by you.
    • The court may order assets to be sold at the earliest possible date and will order all estate expenses to be paid.
    • Taxes may be greater, reducing the estate’s value.
    • Trusts will be established that may not take the family’s living expenses into consideration

These and many other results remind us of the dangers and consequences of not having a proper will drawn up.

It is important to have a legal advisor help you with your will. Your legal advisor will ensure that your will meets the statutory provision of the province. Here is an initial checklist of items to cover.

  1. Choose a competent Executor, it is wise to choose an alternate as well.
  2. Discuss incorporating your will with that of your spouse (Reciprocal Will).
  3. State who will be the legal guardian children of and outline the financial arrangements for dependents.
  4. Divide assets specifically amongst chosen heirs.
  5. Consider assets such as property and if it is your desire to make a bequest to a charity via your will.
  6. Prepare a list of all your assets and liabilities.
  7. Give instructions regarding the type of funeral wanted.
  8. Consider who will take over or manage your business if you are self-employed.

You should take the time to review your will whenever your circumstances change; marriage, divorce, separation, birth of children, children becoming financially independent or disposition of assets mentioned in your will. Additionally, your life insurance should be coordinated to make the most of your insurance plans and to fulfill your will’s intentions.

Your Financial Plan should be reviewed on a regular basis. Make your Will an integral part of the process.