When it comes to your finances and assets, you need to prepare for what happens when you die.
Over half of Canadian adults do not have a will, with most believing that they are too young to worry about having one, while others believe that they do not have enough assets to require one. Research shows that Canadians over the age of 55 are more likely to have a will than younger Canadians. The findings also suggest that Canadians who have a household income of over $100,000 are more likely to have a will than those who earn less.
Dying without a proper will may leave your family in a difficult situation. In Canada, when a person dies intestate, i.e. without a will, they lose the right to appoint an administrator of his choosing, and his property or assets are distributed by an administrator under the Wills, Estates and Succession Act.
There are benefits to making a willꓽ
- It reduces the stress on your family after you die.
- It gives you control over how your assets are distributed. You have the last say.
- A will helps to prevent conflict as it provides clear guidance on what should be done.
- It allows parents to have a say in custody arrangements for minor children.
- It allows for beneficiaries outside of the family to be included.
Hiring a will and estate lawyer versus using a will kit
While some sites and kits can help you to write your own will, it is always recommended to get help from a lawyer.
Here are ten reasons it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer to draft your willꓽ
- A will is a legally binding document. If not prepared properly, it can result in additional legal costs and cause issues for your beneficiaries.
- A lawyer can provide legal advice on how to avoid situations such as will variation, which is an application by a spouse or child to change your will after you die.
- A lawyer will ensure that your will is compliant with the laws of your province.
- A lawyer, in most cases, will place the original of your will in safekeeping. They will also retain notes that may become useful during the administration of the will.
- If the capacity of the person who made the will is challenged, a lawyer can provide proof to support the capacity of the will-maker.
- A lawyer can help to reduce taxes and other costs your loved ones may face after your death.
- With the constant changes in life, it’s important that your will remains current. A will and estate lawyer can ensure that your will is updated and current as well as ensure it contains the right clauses to suit your unique situation.
- A will and estate lawyer can help you to avoid common mistakes, such as naming the wrong executor or leaving out assets.
- A lawyer can help you to protect your interests.
- A lawyer can help you to prepare for contingencies, for example, if you should outlive your heirs or executor, or if an asset no longer exists.
Are you searching for a will and estate lawyer in Richmond?
A proper will is important, and the experienced team at Bernard and Lau Co. Law Corporation is ready to help you put a plan in place for your estate.
Bernard and Lau Co. is a boutique firm located in Richmond, BC, focusing on legal matters relating to wills, probate, and estate planning. Our diverse and experienced team will guide you each step of the way to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Call or visit our website today to schedule a consultation.