April 8, 2009

The Importance of Making a Will

This blog was written by our guest blogger, Bev Evans.

Statistics show that only 50% of Canadians have a Will, yet this is a responsibility each one of us should take seriously. Here are some reasons why.

A Will allows you to:

◊    Appoint an Executor to have authority over your affairs on your behalf when you are gone
◊    Appoint a Guardian who will be able to care for your underage children
◊    Have control over who receives property and heirlooms from your Estate
◊    Have control over who does NOT receive your property (sometimes, this is an even bigger motivator!)
◊    Avoid leaving your loved ones with costly issues and complications at a time when they will already be experiencing difficulty and distress
◊    Avoid having your Estate pay unnecessary fees or taxes that could reduce the amount that goes to people you care about.

Professional Advice
A Will is a legal document, and should be prepared with the assistance of a lawyer.  You may be tempted to write one yourself, but it is important to realize that what you think will be clear may not be interpreted that way by those you leave behind, or by the Courts.  Your ‘home-made’ Will may be deemed invalid if it has not been properly prepared, signed and witnessed. When this happens, your Estate will be treated as if you never wrote a Will, and your wishes may not be carried out.

Storing and Maintaining Your Will
Keep your original Will in a safe place like a safe deposit box, and leave a copy with your lawyer and your Executor. Review your Will every five years to see if it should be updated to reflect changes in your family status, net worth or circumstances.

A Will allows you peace if mind knowing your wishes are in place.  And remember, the question is not IF you will be remembered …

Bev Evans is an Investment Advisor & Financial Planner with Richardson Partners Financial Limited. She can be reached at (905) 615-5671, or via e-mail. seo information . .

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