Many clients ask their lawyers why they need a will in estate planning. Usually, it is followed up with reasons why clients don’t think they need a will. These reasons include the following: they are too young, don’t have an estate of value, or are unconcerned with what happens when they’re gone.
The truth is that anyone over 18 who has assets and is of sound mind needs a will. Without a will, you can leave your families in emotional stress dealing with raised legal fees, tax consequences, and delays while handling your estate after you’ve passed on.
Why Does a Will Need To Be Updated?
Making a will is only the first step. It needs to be updated when unexpected events happen, such as an executor that can no longer act, shifted family dynamics, challenges to the law, and others that may affect your original intentions.
For instance, marriage revokes a pre-existing will. If you’re getting married, you will need to call your estate planner to update your will. You may want to change some parts of your will to include your new bride or groom.
As much as a wedding means a change in your life and a need to update your will, a divorce or an ending to a marriage necessitates the same. Ontario laws state that a separated spouse named in a will is still eligible to receive benefits given to them and may still act as executor if they were named on the will.
However, if you don’t want your former spouse to receive anything from your estate, changing your will should be a priority.
Other Reasons for Will Updates
Aside from personal lives being one of the causes of a will update, changes in the circumstances of your executors and your beneficiaries should also be considered. For instance, when an executor dies or is leaving Ontario, it means that you need a new executor. Therefore, you have to update your will.
Moreover, a beneficiary with financial problems which isn’t responsible for handling money may also necessitate a will update. You can put that beneficiary’s money in a trust for protection. Children that have grown into adults may also need a will update as a trust may no longer be a sensible option.
If you put up a trust fund managed by an independent trustee for your children when they were young, it would make sense to update those provisions once they’ve turned into adults.
Not only are life events and changed circumstances the causes of a will update. Changes in asset holdings, a value increase of assets, acquiring additional assets, and even assets outside Ontario may also necessitate a will update.
If you want to ensure that you have your and your beneficiaries’ best interests in your will, you can update it whenever something significant happens. When that does happen, it’s best to contact your real estate lawyer in Ontario.
Ontario Wills is a team of will and estate planning lawyers in Ontario dedicated to providing quality legal advice about will preparations and updates. We cater to the needs of every client as we know that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. We take the time to understand your circumstances and give you peace of mind. If you need sound legal advice, get in touch with us today!