Our 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s—the years in which we work and build wealth—are often referred to as the “accumulation” or “builder” period. During this time, we may purchase a home, own a business, donate to charities, or invest in stocks, and also want to protect our assets and pass them down to safe hands.
Drafting and executing a will is one of the most important things you can do to protect your family and assets. It’s a document that allows you to appoint a guardian for your minor children. Here’s what to remember when making one.
Without One, All Your Assets Are Decided upon by the Law
If you don’t have a will, the government will decide who gets your stuff when you die. This might not be aligned with your wishes and can cause arguments within your family. Having a will lets you say exactly what you want to happen to your stuff when you’re gone according to your wishes.
When creating a will, the executor is the person who is responsible for your estate after you die. This means they will look after who gets what from your estate and ensure that all your debts are paid. Most people will name their spouse or partner as their executor and then list a family member or close friend as a backup.
Note: You can name more than one person as your executor.
When dealing fairly with children or other dependents, sometimes this doesn’t mean treating them all equally. There are cases of equal distribution amongst her clients. For example, one client had three kids, and the life insurance money went to the two younger kids because the eldest had already finished university and started working.
A Will Also Indicates Who Takes Care of Your Children
It is standard to name guardians in your will if you have young children. This is usually done to ensure that someone the parent trusts will be in charge of the children’s assets until they are of age to manage them themselves.
However, because children are not property, what a parent says about them in a will is not necessarily binding. The court will give significant bearing to the parent’s wishes but ultimately has the final say.
A Will, or Lack Thereof, Can Complicate or Uncomplicate a Your Life
People should be honest with their lawyers about their family or work situations so that the lawyer can help them plan accordingly.
Suppose you own a business or share in a private corporation, are in a blended family, or consider marrying someone who is in one. In any of those cases, it’s important to take some time to think about how you’ll handle the complicated issues that can come up. You will need to take special care in drafting your will. These assets require special handling to ensure that they are properly distributed according to your wishes.
There Are Opportune Moments to Change a Will
You should update your will whenever there are changes in your life that might affect it, such as:
- Getting married.
- Getting re-married.
- Getting separated.
- Getting divorced.
- Having or adopting children.
- A spouse’s death.
- An executor’s death.
Get Legal Help from Ontario Wills Today
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