Is it Beneficial to have a Will?

December 31, 2018

As we get older, a lot of people think about whether they should create a will or not, especially if they have children or close family. It is said that there are less than 50 percent of Canadians currently have a will in place for when they die.

So, is it really beneficial to have a will? It is recommended that if you have children or property, it is going to be best to have a will that comes into effect when you die. This legal document will take care of everything, such as who will get your assets and child custody. If you do not prepare a will for your death, you will die intestate. This means that the laws of Ontario will come into play and divide your property for you, based on family relations. But, having a will in place is still going to minimize the expenses and ensure there are not any delays in dealing with your property.  

In particular, a will gives you the freedom to detail how you would like your property to be given away when you die. This includes how bank accounts and land is divided between family, as well as who can have personal belongings. In addition, having a will has the effect of minimizing tax burdens. You can name a family or friend to be your personal representative or the executor of your will. This means they will in charging of following the instructions of your will and they will help to deal with your personal affairs when you die. Importantly, if you have young children that are under 18 years old, a will prepares a guardian to care for them in the event of your death. You can name who you would like the guardian of your children to be.

Ensure Your Will is Valid

In order for your will to be a valid legal document that will come into effect when you die, you have to make sure that certain requirements are met. This includes your will being written and signed by you. This means a will that is recorded or videotaped will not be legally valid. If it has been typed out on the computer or another person has handwritten the will, it is essential for two witnesses to be present when you sign it. In addition, the two witnesses should sign the document too.

Another requirement of a valid will is that the person making the will, known as the testator, must be a minimum of 18 years old. However, there are some exceptions for those under 18 years old, which includes if you are married, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces or a sailor at sea. If you are contemplating marriage, the will is valid when the marriage takes place.

Finally, the person that is creating the will should be mentally competent. This means that you must understand the effects that this legal document will have and why it is in place. This will be an important question to ask if the person creating the will is senior at the time.

If you are interested in making a will, it is usually a simple and inexpensive process when it is completed by a professional. A lawyer will be able to advise you on the best way to set up your will and you can detail how you would like it to be created.

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