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The importance and effectiveness of having a will

On Behalf of | May 31, 2022 | Wills

Many people do not realize that if they do not plan for what will happen to their estates after they die, the government will. Laws are already in place to determine how to divide the assets of someone who has died without a will, and these determinations do not always match the wishes of the deceased. The simplest way to avoid this scenario is to write a will. A carefully prepared and valid document can protect one’s loved ones from the uncertainty and confusion that often follows when someone dies. Wills are versatile estate planning tools.

What can a will do?

With the help of a legal professional, one can create a will to meet many estate planning goals. For example, a will can name specific designations for which family members, friends or charitable organizations should receive certain assets. Such designations will be important if the testator’s wishes differ from what provincial or territorial laws stipulate.

A will should also name one or more trusted individuals to be the representatives, or executors, of the estate. These representatives will manage the affairs of the estate after the owner’s death. It is important that one’s executors are trustworthy and that they agree to take on the complex role of representing the estate.

Looking ahead

One common estate planning mistake is to create a will and then forget about it. Over the years, the terms of a will can become obsolete, such as if the testator divorces, remarries, gains or loses assets, or if named beneficiaries die. Keeping one’s will up to date is critical for meeting the goal of providing security and peace of mind for one’s loved ones.

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