Wills are essential legal documents that every individual should have. They provide you with the power to decide how your assets will be distributed after your passing, making sure that your loved ones are cared for and your desires are followed.
However, many people are unsure about the process of creating and managing a will. This article will provide individuals with everything they need to know about wills in Canada.
What Is a Will?
A will spells out how a person’s property will be divided after their passing. It is a formal declaration of one’s goals and objectives in writing.
A will can also contain instructions regarding funeral arrangements, the appointment of an executor, and guardianship of minor children.
Why Do You Need a Will?
The necessity of having a will is underscored by a number of factors. It guarantees that your assets are dispersed in line with your preferences. Without a will, the laws of intestacy, which might not represent your intentions, will decide how your assets are distributed.
A will allows you to name an executor who will manage your estate, pay off debts and distribute assets to beneficiaries. It can also prevent family disputes and provide peace of mind for your loved ones.
Who Can Make a Will?
In Canada, anyone who is of legal age and of sound mind can make a will. It is important to note that if an individual has a mental disability, they may not have the capacity to make a will.
How Do You Make a Will?
There are two main ways to make a will in Canada. The first is to hire a lawyer to draft the document for you. This can be more expensive, but it ensures that the will is legally valid and reflects your wishes.
The second option is to use a will kit, which is a package that contains the necessary documents and instructions for creating a will. Will kits are a more affordable option, but they do not provide legal advice and may not be as comprehensive as a lawyer-drafted will.
What Should Be Included in a Will?
A will should contain several key elements, including the following:
- An Executor: the person in charge of looking after your estate and making sure that your intentions are implemented
- Beneficiaries: the people or entities who will get your assets
- Specific Gifts: any specific assets that you wish to leave to particular individuals
- Residual Estate: any assets that are not specifically gifted to beneficiaries
- Guardianship of Minor Children: if you have minor children, you can name a guardian to take care of them in the event of your death
- Funeral Arrangements: any specific instructions or preferences for your funeral or burial
It is important to keep your will up-to-date and to review it periodically to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and circumstances.
What Happens If You Die without a Will?
The intestacy laws will determine how an individual’s possessions are allocated if they pass away without a will. This implies that a set of guidelines that give priority to remaining family members will be used to determine how assets are distributed.
This may not reflect the individual’s wishes and can lead to family disputes and delays in asset distribution.
What Must Happen Legally for a Will to Be Valid?
A will must meet a number of legal requirements to be legitimate. The person writing the will must be of sound mind and legal age.
There must also be a written will that the testator has signed in the presence of two witnesses, who must also place their signatures on the document.
The will must be dated and must clearly express the testator’s intentions.
Where Should You Keep Your Will?
It is important to keep your will in a safe and accessible place. Your executor should have access to the original document, and you should keep a copy in a secure location. It is also a good idea to inform your executor and family members of the location of your will.
In order to protect your legacy and make sure that your loved ones are cared for after your departure, you must first make a will. By taking the time to consider your wishes carefully and working with a legal professional if necessary, you can create a document that reflects your unique values and priorities.
Ontario Wills is here to assist if you need a will lawyer in Ottawa. Our legal team offers quality advice to help you plan for the future.
Let us guide you through the process and ensure that your wishes are carried out. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.