Things To Consider When Writing A Will
A Will is a legal document that sets forth your wishes regarding the distribution of your property and the care of any minor children upon your death. These are things that people do not commonly discuss within a family, so formally expressing your views in a will can provide very helpful and practical guidance for those you leave behind.
Here are things that you want to consider when writing your will:
Seek Professional Help
Many people try to save money by preparing using DIY will kits or hiring someone who will charge a small fee to prepare their will. Saving money now may cost a large amount of money to your estate at a later date to correct the errors in the will. Moreover, the law related to wills and estates is vast and complicated. One must consider various contingencies that may happen after the will is signed. The list of potential errors keeps on increasing based on your relationships, beneficiaries, assets, etc. It is highly recommended to consult a lawyer who is experienced in Wills and Estates Law when preparing your will.
Provide all information about yourself
You must provide your legal names and all other names used by you to your lawyer. Your personal information such as residency, marital status, prior marriages, separartion agreements, disabled dependents, etc. are very important in drafting your will. Disclose it openly to your lawyer.
Identify Your Assets, Debts, And Beneficiaries
Gather detailed information about your properties, debts, and other financial assets such as investments, bank accounts, RRSPs, life insurances,etc. before meeting your lawyer.
Choose Executor or Trustee of Your Estate
Executor of the will identifies and protects the deceased's assets and debts, meets with all legal and financial requirements of an estate; makes sure debts are paid and distributes those assets to the beneficiaries or setting up and managing the trusts. It can be a difficult and time consuming depending upon the complexity of your estate. You must carefully consider who to name the executor or trustee of the estate.
Choose Guardian Of Your Children
Guardian is the person who is responsible to manage the affairs of a person incapable of acting for himself, as a minor or person of unsound mind or person who will take care of your child after you are dead. In an event of death of both parents, nominating guardians for the minor children is an essential part of the will drafting. It is important that you have open and honest discussion with the potential guardians about your traditions, beliefs, morals and lessons you hold dear and select only the one who is able and willing to take care of your children. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to ensure your child has a safe, loving home.
Information regarding Beneficaries
Determine who will receive what and whether any assets should pass in specie to a beneficiary or should all assets be sold and the money be divided. Collect the legal names and addresses of the beneficiaries. If any of the beneficaries is disabled or minor, consider setting up a trust in your will. If you are giving any money to the charities, you must have the legal names of the charity and the purpose for which the money should be used.
After you have created your will, it is highly recommended that you review your will every few years with your financial and legal advisors as the tax laws undergo changes. It is also a good idea to review your will any time there is a significant change in your life—a death in the family, the birth of a child, a milestone (such as retirement).