SERVICES - WILLS

Why You Should Take The Time To Make Your Will

Many people don't like to think about their eventual demise and some put off making a Will because they foolishly think that if they make a Will then they are going to die. This type of thinking is dangerous to what should be one of the most important things you could possibly do for your family and loved ones, namely, making a Will.

Like taxes, death too, cannot be avoided and thus you should treat the fact of making your Will and planning your Estate as an obligation and not something you'll get around to in good time. Nobody is immune to a drunken driver taking his or her life unexpectedly. Simply because we feel healthy today, doesn't mean we can't suddenly suffer a paralyzing stroke or be stricken with Alzheimer's disease next week. By then, it may be too late to provide proper instructions for the preparation of your Will.

Dying intestate (without a Will) is the safest way to ensure that you have absolutely no options whatsoever as to how your estate is to be divided. Simply put, if you fail to make a Will then one will be imposed on you by operation of law and the Surrogate Court (Ontario Superior Court of Justice) will appoint someone to act as Administrator of your Estate. Wouldn't you sooner have appointed someone you trust to safeguard the assets in your Estate? As well, someone (not necessarily the person or persons that you would have named) will be appointed as guardian or guardians of your infant children.

The economic disasters that could result as a consequence of dying intestate are simply too innumerable to be detailed here. However, I have listed hereafter some of the main benefits of having a will and potential consequences and risks you might incur by failing to have one.

CERTAIN RISKS YOU TAKE BY NOT HAVING A WILL

  • Revenue Canada could become one of your beneficiaries.
  • Leaving your spouse and children with a potentially expensive and difficult mess to clean up, leading to great frustration and greater cost
  • Potential beneficiaries never receiving assests or heirlooms that you intended them to have.
  • Having Ontario Law dictate how your Estate is to be distributed.
  • Having a Court-appointed Guardian for your infant children rather than the person(s) that you had intended to appoint.
  • Triggering Capital Gains which become taxable at the date of death.
  • Lengthy and costly delays and the necessity for increased paperwork.
  • Not providing adequately for one of your children who may be handicapped in some fashion or another.

BENEFITS THAT ACCRUE TO YOU WHEN YOU MAKE A WILL

  • Peace of mind. Your affairs are in order should a sudden tragedy befall you.
  • You, not the government, name your beneficiaries and dictate when and what amounts they are to receive.
  • Simple and straightforward instructions make it relatively easy to settle your estate.
  • Avoid Capital Gains Tax.
  • Avoid hefty Probate fees.
  • Properly provide for children in shaky marriages, handicapped children, or elderly parents on minimal incomes.
  • You name your own Executor and Guardians of your infant children.