We work all of our lives, mostly to accumulate assets, to pass on to our spouse, our children or, in some cases, our friends, yet very few of us seek legal advice to prepare a Will.
A Will is a document which expresses our wishes as to who should receive our property when we die. If you die without a Will in place it is the laws of "intestacy" (the government) that decides how your wealth will be divided. You may be unpleasantly surprised as to who would actually benefit should you not have a Will.
If you die without a Will, the laws of each province dictate how your estate is distributed and this seldom reflects your actual wishes.
For example, among other losses:
1. You would lose the opportunity, depending on the value of your estate, to ensure that it was completely transferred to your spouse;
2. You would lose the opportunity to decide how your property would be divided among your children; if it would pass to your grandchildren if a child predeceased you; or, at what age your children would receive their share of your estate;
3. You would lose the opportunity to pick the person who would be handling the division of your assets;
4. Your beneficiaries would lose the right to divide your estate in a way that would minimize the taxes; and
5. Even more compelling to those with minor children, you would lose the opportunity to name a guardian to care for those children, which, should there be a disagreement in this regard, would be the only way in which to show your support for the guardian of your choice.
Dying without a Will could also delay the settling of your affairs and leave your family in financial hardship or even result in monies left to your children being paid into Court to be administered by government authorities until such time as your child reaches the age of majority. Further, if a choice is being made for a guardian of your children, without a Will, you would have no voice. The negative ramifications of dying without a Will in place are endless.
Show those left behind that you loved them---take the necessary steps to provide for them and make the job of settling your affairs as easy and painless as possible. Contact Michele Gordon, Barrie lawyer to have your Will prepared out in Barrie, Ontario