Many people put off making a Will due a reluctance to prepare for the inevitable, a lack of knowledge about what happens to their property upon their passing, or a concern about the cost of preparing a Will.
While not everyone needs a Will, we recommend that everyone who is 16 or older get a Will done if they:
- own a bank account or vehicle;
- own or have an interest in any real estate; or
- have a spouse or are the guardian of any children.
If any of those apply to you, here are the top five reasons why you should have a valid, up-to-date Will:
- You decide who will be in charge of distributing your estate. Without a Will, the law determines who has priority to apply to court to be in charge of your estate. This may not be appropriate in your circumstances, and may lead to family disputes.
- You decide how your estate is distributed. Without a Will, the law determines who is entitled to your estate. Don’t leave it up to the default provisions of the law: make your own decisions on what to do with your estate.
- You get to decide who you want to be the guardian of your children. If you haven’t named a replacement guardian, upon your death the government becomes the guardian of your children until the Courts order otherwise.
- You will make your executor’s job easier. A valid Will names the people who you want to be your executor, which makes it easier for your executor to deal with banks, ICBC and beneficiaries in a timely manner.
- You will save your beneficiaries money. Most estates must go through the process of being approved by the Supreme Court. Having a Will makes the process of getting approval from the Supreme Court more efficient, so less of your estate is spent on lawyers, accountants and income tax, and more of it goes to your beneficiaries.
If you are convinced that you need a proper Will, or if this reminds you that it is time to review your Will with a lawyer, please contact MJB Lawyers for a consultation.