When Should I Write A Will?

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Blog, Wills & Estate

couple talking to lawyer behind deskIt’s not uncommon for estate planning to fall to the bottom of the to-do list and stay there, but having a will is very important. Providing a will allows you to divide up your assets so that your family and loved ones are taken care of in the event of your death. So when should you write your will? Legally, you can create a will one once you are 18 years of age; however, people generally create a will after hitting certain milestones in their lives. The following life events should act as reminders for you to either create or update your will.

Tying the Knot

Whether you are getting married for the first (or second) time, this is a good time to create or update your will. You will want to make sure you include or remove your spouse to reflect your desires. In the case of a second marriage, you will want to make sure your new family, as well as any children or spouses from your previous relationship are dealt with accordingly by either adding them, removing them, or altering their entitlements.

Buying A Home

When you buy a home, your estate’s value will change significantly, which means it’s time to prepare or update your will with regards to how your assets should be distributed. Any changes in your estate’s value — increase or decrease — will affect what you are leaving behind to your beneficiaries. Because of this, anytime you see a change in your assets, you should re-visit your will.

Note: If you have moved provinces, be sure to check with an estate planner to see if there are any necessary changes that need to be made as each jurisdiction has its own laws regarding wills.

Having Children

Once you are responsible for another human, your perspective starts to change. Creating a will ensures that your children will be taken care of in the event of your death. In your will, you will outline what portion of assets you want allocated to them, as well as who you would like their legal guardian to be until their reach adulthood.

As your children age, it’s important to continue to update your will, as their needs change. Your children and their spouses, or maybe even grandchildren, may affect how you choose to distribute your estate. Eventually, you may wish to name one of your children as executor in your will.

A Brush With Death

A health scare or significant accident can be a harsh reminder of your ill-preparedness for your ultimate demise. After such an event,, many people realize that it is time to contact an estate planning professional to draft their will and make sure that, in the event of their death, their assets are in order and their family is protected.
Note: If someone you have named in your will has passed away or become incapacitated, you should update your estate planning documents to reflect these changes.

Don’t Wait

Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee. That statement isn’t meant to scare you, but simply remind you of how precious our time here is. In the event of your death, having an up to date will lessens the stress on your family during an already emotional time. Do you need to draft your will? Maybe it’s time for you to revisit your will to adjust things. Either way, the expert team at Heritage Law is ready to help you with all your estate planning needs. Contact us today to get started.