As you get older, you should start to think about getting a Will. While it might be depressing to think about your passing, if you do not plan ahead, you can be putting your family into serious strife. Court battles, fights between family members and a complete breakdown of relationships can occur. These points highlight the importance of getting a Will.
What to put in your Will is difficult, especially if you don’t what to include. Below are the reasons why you should get a Will, the appointments you should make, and how to divide your assets.
What Is The Purpose Of Your Will?
Your Will is a document that stipulates what happens if you pass away. It works on two levels: it allows you to make key appointments to people who will carry out the final acts of your Will, and it will describe the distribution of your assets – also known as your “estate”.
While you are alive, your Will can be amended as your circumstances change, and will only become active when you pass away. It is, therefore, essential that you always stay on top of your estate so that you can adjust your Will accordingly.
Due to the uncertainties of life, a Will should be organized by a Will lawyer in Calgary as soon as you have viable assets, instead of waiting until you’re ‘old’.
Key Appointments For Your Will
When it comes to organizing your Will, you have to assign to key positions:
- The Executor of your Will
An executor is a person you can trust to carry out the instructions of your Will. They will have full control of gathering and securing your assets, and then distributing them. They will also be responsible for arranging your funeral. Considering the importance of the role, it is best if you choose a friend or family member who has your full support and trust. You can always hire a Will lawyer in Calgary to handle it on your behalf, but it will cost you.
- The Guardians of your Children
There is nothing more important than making sure your children are safe, if God forbid, you and your partner are involved in an accident. Make sure that you assign a guardian that is committed, passionate and has a strong relationship with your children or child. However, it should be noted that even if you appoint a guardian, they can reject the offer if their circumstances are not fit to look after your children. A judge will decide if that is the case.
Distributing Your Assets
Sorting out and distributing your assets is a vital component of your Will. Without it, you leave your estate, your individual items and your finances in open arms to be battled out in court. The situation can lead to court battles with Calgary family lawyers representing each family member’s interest.
Dividing and distributing your assets is down to your own volition. You can separate your property to several different parties, or hand out your finances to specific people. You have the choice to decide who gets what. In legal terms, the recipients of your assets are called “beneficiaries”, while the items going to the beneficiaries are called “bequests”.
You should make two plans for your Will regarding your assets. This ensures that if the first plan fails or does not work for whatever reason, the second plan will activate. It should be written so that regardless of what happens, there is always a plan for your estate.
What Happens If You Die Without Making A Will?
If you do not make a Will before you pass away, there might be issues when it comes to dividing your estate, especially if there is general confusion as to who will take charge of your Will, as you have not named an executor. It can result in fighting between family members. In some severe circumstances, the dividing of the Will will see family members hiring Calgary family lawyers to fight on their behalf in court.
In most cases, the estate will go the next closest family member. For example, if your parents pass away, their estate will be divided between you and your siblings. If you’re married, and you pass away, your estate will go to your spouse. If both you and your spouse pass away, it will pass to your children (once they are of legal age).
If the family members cannot organize and mediate the estate themselves, the courts will appoint an Estate Administrator, who will then have to secure the assets in the estate. They will distribute the estate according to the laws of the Province.
If you haven’t created a Will yet, the time is now to do it. Speak to your Will lawyer in Calgary to help you get the process started.
At THEBIL Family Law we are committed to providing our clients with reliable, trustworthy and honest legal services. Inspired by our founding lawyer, Nne Christiana Udo, we are strong advocates for the rights of the vulnerable in society. We will provide all those who need our service with staunch legal support. We have created a culture where we can achieve the goals that you set out for us. Our expertise is in family law, but we can also help with real estate, wills, estates and immigration. Give us a call on (403) 457-3128 or go to our website (https://www.thebilfamilylaw.ca) and fill out a Contact Form.