The first question that people usually have when talking about estate planning is, do I even need a Will?
For most people the answer is overwhelmingly Yes.
Having a valid Will in place provides a peace of mind that your assets and affairs will be dealt with in a manner that you have prescribed, and clarity when considering future plans and endeavors for you and your family.
No matter who you are, whether you are single, married, have children, or property, bank accounts, or any type of valuable assets. If there are people that rely on you such parents or other minors that you are or could become guardian of, you need a Will.
Why do I need a Will?
A Will deals with many aspects of your life including your assets and children.
When dealing with assets, a Will deals with all of your property that does not already have designated beneficiaries. This could be bank accounts, personal property and jewelry, and some investments. Such items often do not have designated beneficiaries and will require distribution after your death. If you pass without a Will this distribution will be determined by the law according to the Wills and Estates Succession Act (WESA). The distribution in WESA is not appropriate for all individuals as it does not consider the nuances and complexities that often arise in peoples’ personal and family situations. Concerns such as blended families, outstanding debts to or from family members that need accounting, individuals that should be considered beneficiaries may not be considered beneficiaries according to WESA and its distribution of an estate.
All of these concerns and complexities can be considered and accounted for in a Will specifically drafted to you and your personal situation.
Your Will also allows you to designate guardians for your minor children should it be necessary. If you do not have a Will to designate a potential guardian, the government will decide who is best suited to be the guardian of your children. The government does usually choose the most suitable closest relative in their eyes, although this may not be the person you would have chosen to raise your children should you pass.
There are many reasons and benefits to having a Will that can be tailored to your personal circumstances. Decisions about who handles your estate when you die, what happens to your children, and how your assets are distributed should be made by you according to your wishes, and not determined by a standard formula that does not consider your personal circumstances.
How do I make a Will?
When you are ready to draft a Will, you should speak to a legal professional that can talk to you about drafting a Will, and ask you the right questions to make sure that your Will can meet your needs in the most effective way possible. The lawyer will talk to you about your wishes, provide you with the risks and benefits of your options, and possibly provide alternatives and solutions. They will draft a first draft will for you to review and then make any necessary changes or edits that you need, and answer questions that you may have. Once your Will is finalized, your lawyer will execute your Will with you and a witness. Once the final Will is complete, you will be instructed to place your Will in a safety deposit box or safe place. The lawyer will then register your Will at the Wills Registry BC, and your Will shall then be complete.
Having a Will in place creates a peace of mind for you, and creates ease for your beneficiaries and executors when the time comes.
The foregoing content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Titan Law Corporation (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues. Titan Law Corporation does not warrant or guarantee the quality, accuracy, or completeness of any information on this website. The articles published on this website are current as of their original date of publication, but should not be relied upon as accurate, timely, or fit for any particular purpose. This website does not create a lawyer-client relationship