Drafting a will? Here are the details you should know

Nov 2, 2017

There is no right age to have your will drafted and though it may feel awkward to think about your own mortality, a will is an important document. 

Think of your will as a common sense document that every adult with assets should have, one that will impose your wishes and ensure that the people you want to benefit, do.

It is important to have a will

Many adults think of a will as a necessity for the elderly, however, every adult can benefit from a will.

If you are over 18 and have entered the workforce it is a great time to start thinking about your will. At this time you will likely have a number of assets (your car, RRSP), as well as, a growing income.

It is especially important that when you become a parent that you commit to drafting a will. Your will, will ensure that your children are protected by establishing guardianship and are taken care of via your assets.

The laws of intestate succession are in place to dictate how your assets will be divided if you do not have a will. Under this law your assets and beneficiaries are all decided by what the law has established. You know how you would like your assets divided and who you would like to be as guardian for your children, don’t leave it up to the court.

Your appointments matter

If you’re ready to draft a will you will need to think hard about who you will appoint. First you need to decide on an Executor. Your Executor will be responsible for carrying out the instructions within your will. Click here to learn more about the role of an Executor.

You will also need to appoint a Guardian for any children under 18. Your Guardian will be responsible for raising your children and making all parenting decisions. This is a difficult decision as you’ll want to consider their financial and housing situation, as well as, their current relationship with your children. It should also be considered that the Guardian that you want may be unwilling to accept the responsibility, you should always ask before appointing someone.

Giving away your assets

The details within your will determine how your property will be distributed. Giving away your assets is not difficult, you will simply be required to decide who you would like to name as beneficiaries of each of your assets within your will.

Your estate planning lawyer, may advise you to give some of your assets, especially those that are monetary before your pass. Your estate planning lawyer will also help you to establish tax saving strategies, these too will be outlined in your will.

Shutting down your digital assets

You likely have a complex digital presence and digital asset management is a newer element of estate planning. Between online banking, social media and other online assets like investments, there is a lot to consider. You can determine how these assets will be accessed after death, you can also control your Google accounts with Google’s inactive account manager.

Find an Estate Planning Lawyer

While you can create a will without a lawyer, you risk protecting your assets and your beneficiaries without the their assistance. The cost of a will varies dependent on the complexity of your will. It’s best to start with a law firm that is trusted, or from referral from a lawyer you’ve used previously or from a friend.