Not only does writing your will force you to acknowledge the inevitability of your own death, but it also forces you to plan for it. And although people find planning for death somewhat of a morbid activity, it’s crucial that you plan properly. A will is just an instruction manual for your survivors on what to do with your money, assets, and even your kids or other dependants upon your death. And although choosing who gets what seems easy enough, it’s important to be properly informed when thinking about designing a will. Here’s 3 commonly asked questions about writing a will:
When should I write my will?
There’s no set age or milestone to reach before being eligible to write a will, but if you’re an adult, own significant assets, and have dependants in your care, you should be looking into designing a will. Your will dictates to whom your assets and property will go to, and whose care your dependants are left in.
Are certain assets excluded from my will?
Not all assets can be included in your will. Wills tend to not cover any assets that you don’t own exclusively. For example, a joint bank account or a jointly owned property has a “right of survivorship”, meaning that these assets will automatically become the exclusive property of the joint survivor upon your death. Also, wills don’t apply to assets like TFSAs, life insurance, RRSPs, and RRIFs, where you’ve already assigned a beneficiary to whom these assets will go to.
Should I consult a lawyer?
There’s a guide that you can use called a will kit, which informs you of what you can and cannot include in your will. Although will kits are perfectly legal and consulting a lawyer isn’t necessarily required, it’s probably a better idea if you seek one out as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan to accommodate all your needs. You may (and probably do) have a unique set of circumstances, for which an example isn’t included in a will kit, that requires custom provisions from the help of a lawyer. Furthermore, you may feel more confident in the validity of your will after showing the completed document to a lawyer