Do you have a will?
Recently a few of my friends have suddenly lost a spouse. I was very thankful to here that they had things in order, and am very thankful for the statistic that shows most Canadians do have a will. Quite a few people think of a will as something to be scared of or something that needs to be done later in life. They are wrong because things do happen; situations that can leave a person incapacitated or worse. These are the types of situations that require a discussion of wills, trusts and estates.It is better to be prepared for a situation so that you are leaving your family taken care of.
What is a Will?
A will is a legal document that carries out a person’s last wishes. It is a typed or handwritten document that makes it clear your wants and desires after you have died. It means your wealth and assets are given out how you wish.
Wills have been around for hundreds of years. First used by the Ancient Romans and refined by the British, wills have been long used to bequeath estates to benefactors that are specifically chosen by the writer of the document. The have been used to fight against royalty, save families and have been known to save thousands of animals with well-meaning donations and bequests.
Why Have a Will?
Creating a will is one of the most important things a person can do in their lives! The sooner you do it the better. Talking about death is a hard conversation that way too many people put off. The reality of life is, death; there’s nothing more certain. Writing a will doesn’t speed up the process, it simply leaves a person prepared for the inevitable; which could be the best decision they ever make.
A Legal Will can:
- Protect your family: By personally directing your assets to your spouse, children or family, you can ensure that they thrive.
- Name an executor: By naming an executor in your will, you can be sure that someone you trust is dealing with your precious possessions.
- Help carry out your last wishes: Whether you always dreamed of having your ashes spread in the ocean or that the local humane society inherits your whole cash estate, your will can see to it that your dreams can come true.
- Avoid long delays in settling your estate: When you have a legal will, there isn’t much to dispute.
- Help you recognize your loved ones: If you always wanted to leave your cherished coin collection to your best friend, your will can ensure that it happens.
- Appoint a guardian: Through your will you can state exactly who you would like to have raising your children in the event of you and your spouses’ inability.
- Name your own beneficiaries: Your will can state exactly who gets what and how much. Without a will, your whole estate will go to a court appointed beneficiary and in some cases, this may not be your wish.
Without this simple legal document, many of these decisions will go through the court system called probate which can cost our loved ones and family time, effort, money and emotional well-being.
If you don’t have a will why not?
Did you know you can even prepare on your own? You can purchase a simple will kit and they are fully legal. You do not need to spend a fortune to be prepared for the future, may I suggest if you don’t have one please get it done soon.