This is what to think about when you’re making a will

When to start making a will

Sep 1, 2016

If you are ready to lay out what will happen to your estate after your death, you likely understand the importance of having a plan for your property. Having a will in place will help you protect your family and your estate; it is an important document that requires a considerate amount of decision making. 

To prepare to set out the parameters of your will, there are many important questions that you must ask yourself. You should ensure that how you plan to distribute your estate reflects your wishes and protects your family. Your wills and estates lawyer will ensure that you’ve properly considered all aspects in-relation to your estate.

Consider the following aspects when you’re making a will.

Who do you trust to be your estate trustee?

In your will you must appoint an estate trustee. This person will be responsible for carrying out the instructions of your will, including paying your final taxes, your properties division and closing out your accounts. Many people choose a trusted friend or family member, you may also choose to appoint a lawyer. The role of an estate trustee is complex, ensure that your choice understands the depth of responsibility they will inherit.

Who do you trust to be your Powers of Attorney?

You will be required to appoint two people as your Powers of Attorney (POA). One POA will be responsible for your financial management and the other is responsible for your medical care. Your POAs responsibilities are similar to your executors, however they will only carry out their obligations if you’re incapacitated.

What should you include in your will?

Aside from appointing an executor and POA, your will should include instructions that name the beneficiary(ies) of your estate, your beneficiaries can receive specific assets this includes your property, insurance, pension plans and other items like your jewelry or art. Your will, will also be used to appoint a guardian for any minor children. You can leave instructions surrounding your funeral wishes. You can also establish a trust (and appoint trustees), in association with your will. Lastly, you can establish charitable giving within your will.

In order to draft your will, your lawyer requires relevant personal and financial information. For more information on how to prepare to meet with a Niagara estates lawyer click here.

Once you have determined your own wishes for your estates distribution, for legal protection you should hire a lawyer to draft your will. Your lawyer will ensure that your will abides by the laws of the Province and they will advise you on tax-saving strategies. 

The Niagara estates lawyers of Chown Cairns represent and advise clients on the administration and distribution of estates. Learn more about our Estates & Wills Practice Group below.

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