The Ontario Bar Association has announced November to be ‘Make a Will’ month to encourage Canadians to draft their wills. A worrying 50 percent of Canadians are yet to create wills, which means they don’t have anything to oversee their estate planning when they pass away.
Most people think they’re too young to make a will and that it’s a matter for the aged and dying. However, life is full of unexpected events, and it’s always best to be ready for even the most surprising scenarios. Accounting for your possessions and estate in your will is the best way to ensure it goes to the intended recipient. However, if you don’t know how to get started or how to write a will, Ontario attorneys will be happy to help.
The Reasons Many Canadians Do Not Have Wills
Although there are many reasons Canadians do not actively pursue creating their own wills, it’s certainly in their list of priorities. However, it often gets bumped further down as they add more time-sensitive tasks until it is perpetually put off.
However, a popular reason that many Canadians do not have wills is that they think the estate planning process is costly and inconvenient. Without a compelling reason to create a will, they tend to delay it until they feel necessary. However, most people don’t realize that it is often more expensive not to have a will than it is to prepare one.
Why Every Canadian Needs a Will
Wills aren’t just for older people. If you’re 18 years old or older, you’re eligible to write a will. Even if you have very few assets, you still have something you own that you can pass onto other people, whether it’s household items or even your social media accounts. That way, you can control who has access to them. You’re also required to file an income tax return every year, and doing so without a will on your year of death is sure to complicate things.
What a Will Can Do For You
A will can be incredibly beneficial to you in many circumstances. If you have children under 18, you can name their guardian for 90 days in your will. You can also include trusts to defer the age at which your children will receive their inheritance.
Meanwhile, if one of your beneficiaries has a disability, you can include an absolute discretionary trust to protect the government benefits your beneficiary will receive. You can also include provisions that enable your executor to roll over your Registered Retirement Savings Plan to your beneficiary’s Registered Disability Savings Plan to defer tax liability.
On the other hand, if you have a common-law spouse or step-children you’d like to designate as beneficiaries, you must specify this in your will. Only married spouses and biological or adopted children can benefit from your estate if you pass without a will.
Another scenario in which you would benefit from having a will is if you are in a second marriage but hope to provide for a surviving spouse after your death. This scenario also applies if you’d like your children from a prior relationship to benefit from your remaining assets. Putting this in your will is a great way to ensure that you’ll take care of all your beneficiaries even after you pass away.
These are only a few situations in which a will is incredibly beneficial to your problem. There are multiple wills and estate planning that estate lawyers can tailor to your circumstances, no matter how unique. By making a will, you’ll be gifting yourself peace of mind, as you can rest assured that your assets will go to their intended beneficiaries.
At Ontario Wills, we know that different circumstances require different solutions. That’s why our Ottawa will lawyers can help you craft a proper estate plan that covers beyond your will. With a comprehensive plan, you’ll ensure that your executor carries out all your wishes. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do for you.