It’s rather sad to think about but as much fun life can be it must come to an end. For richer or poorer, everyone dies and without a Last Will and Testament (i.e., Will) the government (not you) decides how your assets will be distributed. Regardless of your assets, you have the right to decide how your estate will be managed.
Why are you calling me an idiot?
As the last legally binding document representing an individual life’s, a Will provides instructions for disposition of assets after death. Distribution of assets in an appropriate manner can assure the welfare of your family and friends or effective distribution of assets to causes and programs you cared deeply about. When no Will exists, the law deems you have died “inestate” meaning you have no way of informing how your property and assets are to be distributed. The distribution of your assets will be managed by a predetermined legislated formula which can mean many things:
- The person administering your estate may not be someone you know or trust.
- The cost of administering your estate will in all likelihood be higher.
- The delays in administering your estate can be lengthy.
- There may be squabbling over property and assets in the family because your intentions are unknown.
A death in the family is bad enough. Dealing with someone’s messy estate can make a troubling experience even worse.
Why you need to get a Will
All provinces have rules about how estates are to be managed. If you don’t have a Will, your estate could be managed VERY differently from what you had intended. A Will can help you achieve the following:
- Provide for your loved ones in ways you had always intended.
- Secure responsible guardians for your children or dependents.
- Distribute assets and cherished belongings according to your desires.
- Communicate what was important to you, to whom and why.
- Leave a legacy by sharing what you want to see continued in the future.
Until my early 30s, having a Will wasn’t top of mind. Going back a few years my wife and I didn’t have many assets and we had no dependants so I figured there wasn’t much point. While not much has changed years later, I’ve recognized the value of a Will and the negative impacts of not having one on those I care deeply about. My attitude has definitely changed and hopefully this post has changed or improved yours.
What are your thoughts on Wills?