Creating a will is one of those tasks it’s so easy to put off. There’s always something else that merits your attention, and besides, you plan on living a long time so what’s the rush? As family lawyers with years of helping clients across BC, we’re here to tell you that it’s time to put the creation of a will right at the top of your to-do list.
Officially, a “Last Will and Testament” is a legal document that explains your intentions for the dispersal of your estate when you die. This wide-ranging set of instructions can touch on areas like your funeral arrangements, who receives what from your estate, and, if children are involved, your wishes for their guardianship.
A will is crucial if any of the following applies to you:
- You own assets that will exist after your death
- You’re married or in a common law relationship
- You have children
- You own a business
Should you pass unexpectedly, are you sure your wishes for each of these important aspects of your life will be respected? The only way to guarantee it is to create your will.
Here are five reasons why it’s important to have a will.
Save Time and Stress for Loved Ones
The death of a loved one is a heartbreaking and stressful time. There are arrangements to be made, and family members will each have an opinion on the best way to proceed. Without a will, this process quickly becomes complicated and sometimes fractious. A will streamlines this process, with an executor of your choice appointed to carry out your express wishes.
You Choose Who Manages Your Estate
As mentioned above, creating a will allows you to nominate an “Executor.” This important job includes everything from closing bank accounts to liquidating assets and organizing funeral arrangements. It’s an extremely important job, and should only be given to a capable and trustworthy individual. If you fail to choose someone, the court will pick someone on your behalf – it may not be the person you want.
Provide a Home for Your Pets
Wills aren’t just for those with children. If you have pets, you can ensure they’ll go to a loving home should you pass away. BC law considers pets to be property. That means you can’t go leaving a home to your dog, but you can ensure your dog goes to a trusted family member or friend.
Leave a Legacy
Many individuals want to leave a lasting impact on the world when they pass, and making a charitable donation from their estate is one way to achieve this. Creating a will allows you to name charitable organizations as part beneficiaries of your estate.
Peace of Mind
Creating a will is the only way to guarantee your wishes upon death are carried out. It’s a living document you can update from time-to-time to reflect your changing circumstances. Not only does this secure peace of mind for you, it also guarantees it for your family and loved ones.
Looking to Plan Your Will?
If you, or a loved one, is interested in discussing your unique personal situation regarding estate planning or Wills we’d love to discuss your options. Westside Family Law can assist with any legal questions you may have surrounding estate law. Contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.