5 Things To Know When Preparing A Will

A woman sitting at her desk making a will

Posted by heritagelawoffices on Jun 6, 2016 in Blog, Wills & Estate

Many people put off creating their will because it means they have to face the idea of their ultimate demise; however, having a will in place is very important to make sure that your loved ones and assets are legally protected. Read on for five important things to keep in mind before you sit down to prepare your will.

Know Your Assets

Before you sit down with an estate planner to prepare your will, you will want to prepare a comprehensive list of all your assets. Things like bank accounts, credit cards, investments, etc. Since a wills main function is to divide up your assets to the specified beneficiaries, it’s important to know what you have to divvy up!

You Aren’t Required To Use An Attorney — But It Sure Helps

Legally, you are not required to hire a lawyer to help you prepare your will. DIY kits are widely available, but these are really only feasible if your financial situation is very simple. Most websites that offer will-writing services also aren’t province specific, which could mean you aren’t following proper provincial laws. The best way to make sure your will is prepared correctly is to hire a lawyer that offers estate planning services. Lawyers can offer useful advice on strategies to make sure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone.

You Will Need To Name An Executor

An executor makes sure that whatever you decided upon in your will comes to fruition. Because of the high level of responsibility of this role, most people choose a trusted friend or relative; however, if your affairs are complicated, it might make more sense to name your attorney as your executor. You can always name joint executors, such as your spouse and your attorney. Whoever you choose to be your executor, make sure you ask them first! This role comes with a lot of responsibility, and the last thing you want to do is push the responsibility on someone who isn’t ready.

For Parents: You’ll Need To Name A Guardian

If you have children under the age of 18, you will need to name a legal guardian to take care of them in the event of your death. You will also need to appoint a trustee (the person who will be in charge of your children’s assets). It is advised that the guardian and trustee not be the same person, so one person doesn’t end up in charge of everything. It’s very important that you discuss with the person you plan to name as a guardian or trustee to make sure they are ready to take on such a role!

It Needs To Be Updated

A will is not something that you can set and forget. A good rule of thumb is to revisit your will any time you experience a major change in your life, such as getting married, buying a house, having children, etc. Keeping your will updated will allow you to be aware of exactly what and who is involved in your affairs after your death.

Questions? We Have Answers

Heritage Law specializes in estate planning, including will preparation. Our team will make preparing your will a quick and efficient process. Get in touch with us today to learn more!