If you do not prepare a last will and testament, your estate won’t be distributed in the way that you prefer, and the costs of administering your estate may also be higher. Now, if that alone isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of a last will and testament then we’ve got just the thing for you. Here are four reasons why you need to prepare a last will and testament.
You Control the Distribution of Your Estate
As described, a Will is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding your property, whether it be money, houses, stocks, or jewellery. If you want something to be passed onto a specific person or persons upon your death, you need to legally clarify that intention. If there is no Will for survivors to act on, this could result in unnecessary arguments and expensive legal action.
You Get to Decide Who’s Responsible for Your Estate
Once you die, your executor becomes responsible for carrying out your will. They are responsible for making sure that all of your affairs are in order, including cancelling credit cards, paying bills, and distributing any assets. This can be a large task for any individual. Therefore, you should choose this person carefully. If the executor is a family member, they are not required to be one. More importantly, they should be honest, trustworthy, and organized.
You Get to Choose the Guardian of Your Children
In the absence of a will, the courts will take responsibility for locating your next of kin and appointing them as the guardian(s) of your children. By writing a will you give yourself the opportunity to choose who will raise your children, rather than leaving these decisions up to the courts.
You Avoid the Lengthy Probate Process
There are a number of common misconceptions about the probate process in Canada. The first is that you will need to hire an executor and go through probate if you leave your assets to a spouse or close family members. In Canada, if your estate is less than $150,000, probate is not required (with the exception of the Province of Quebec). Probate is the process of certifying your Will as the legal document specifying what you wanted to happen with your estate. However, if your estate goes beyond $150,000 then probate is something that your executor will have to deal with.
Your Executor cannot just show up at the bank with a Will and ask the bank to give them money. The bank does not know whether the document is the last Will and Testament, or if there are other, more recent Wills that supersede it. The bank is extremely cautious about giving money to anyone except the account holder. With that being said, the probate process is much simpler with a Will. The first step in the probate process is proving that there is no Will. If you haven’t prepared your Will, you can skip this step.
We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you better understand why having a last will and testament is so important. As you can see, having a last will and testament isn’t only good for you but will also help the loved ones that you leave behind. Be sure to work with professionals when preparing your last will and testament in order to avoid any complications in the future.
If you are looking for professional services that will help you with your last will and testament in Ottawa, then you’ve come to the right place. Ontario Wills & Estate Plans by videoconference. Get quality legal advice from Ontario lawyers all from the comforts of your own home. For more information on what we can do for you, visit our website today!