Why Having a Will is Important

by Achieva Financial
Aug August 02

Many Canadians have never drawn up a will, which can have devastating consequences in the event of your passing. A will helps you dictate your wishes for your estate, appoint guardians for any underage children you have, and make your burial preferences known. Here are the benefits of having an updated will:

Your estate will save money on legal fees and court costs

A properly set up will outlines your wishes for your estate, and, with the help of a lawyer, can be set up in a manner that will help your beneficiaries save on taxes. Without a will, if there are problems, your beneficiaries could be looking at hefty court costs coming out of their portion of your estate, or a higher tax bill.

You can choose your executor

Choosing the right executor will help the estate settlement process go as smoothly as possible. If you don’t have a will, or don’t name an executor in your will, someone will have to be appointed, delaying the process.

You can choose your beneficiaries

Having a will gives you the power to choose who benefits from your estate. Without a will, the beneficiaries are determined by Canadian law, meaning your estate may not go to the people you wish to receive it. You can also choose who benefits from your estate in the event a family member pre-deceases you.

You can set up a trust for children

You may not wish for your children to receive their entire inheritance in the event you pass away before they reach adulthood. This is where a trust comes in; you can determine when they will receive their inheritance. You can even portion out an inheritance so that they receive part of it when they turn 18, and the rest when they turn 25, for example.

It gives you and your family peace of mind

The knowledge that your wishes are known and that your loved ones will be cared for in the event of your passing can help give you peace of mind. Dealing with a loss is always a difficult time, but having your wishes known to your family in the form of a will helps to make the process of handling your estate as stress-free as possible.

 

If you have a will, it is important to review it regularly to ensure it is up-to-date. Update your will whenever you experience a major family change, such as the birth of a child, or a marriage or separation. If you’ve experienced a large windfall or change in wealth, reviewing your will is also wise.