Almost half of Canadians do not have a Will. Presumably persons wish to make decisions about where their assets end up when they die. Do you want to ensure that the wealth you accumulated in a lifetime of effort goes to where you want ? A properly prepared Will (often called a Last Will & Testament) that is regularly updated is the only way you are certain that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
There is not much you can control after your death but you can determine who will inherit your worldly assets if you leave a Will. No other important legal document and essential planning is more neglected, procrastinated, blocked out or given less importance, than one's Will. Of course we don't like to think about the last day of our future, but notice even the rich or famous haven't survived forever. Sadly, often death is sudden, premature or very unfair. We all forget that death comes anytime , anywhere and that means there is no tomorrow for making a Will. Do it now and do it right is my advice to clients.
My practice is to interview clients at some length to ascertain a full picture of their circumstances.
- Are some named beneficiaries minors or are any disabled?
- What provisions are made if one of your named beneficiaries or children predecease you or get divorced?
- Are their specific items you wish to bequest?
- Are your Grandchildren protected?
- Do your own children have their Wills in place to protect their children?
- Do your parents have their Wills in place and up to date?
- Where are the Wills located?
- Have you discussed the matter of Wills with your parents and children?
- Have you discussed with a financial advisor to devise ways of minimizing the tax impact on death?
- Have you placed your assets in Joint names to avoid the need for Probate or to reduce the costs of your Estate ? (Government fees in B.C. are 1.4% of the Estate value.)