What is a Will & Who Should Have One?

When it comes to planning for your loved ones to inherit your estate, it’s critical that you have a will in place – however, there’s more to holding a will than simply managing your inheritance. As such, we’ve outlined what a will is and who needs to hold a will as follows to help you determine the most suitable strategy for your estate and planning.

What is a Will?

What is a will? Simply put, will is a legal document that expresses your wishes regarding the inheritance of your estate/investments after your passing, as well as who will take on guardianship of your under-18 children, in the untimely event that you should pass before they reach legal adulthood.

Aspects your will can cover include land, bank accounts, investments, personal possessions, properties, and the like. Your will also states who you would like to arrange your personal affairs.

Who Should Have a Will

At this point, we’ve clarified what a will is and what it covers – but who should have a will? Unfortunately, only around 50% of Canadians currently have a will; however, ideally, anyone with a family or who owns estate should hold a will to ensure that their wishes are suitably managed after death.

What are the consequences of passing without a will? If you pass without a will, any property you own will be split equally between your family members, in accordance with Ontario law. This typically tends to be a lengthy process without a will in place. Moreover, if you don’t have direct family members and wanted to leave your estate to friends or other loved ones, this will be impossible to arrange without a will. Meanwhile, if you have under-18 children, you need to arrange a will to ensure that their guardianship goes to someone you trust.

Requirements to Get a Will

What are the requirements to get a will? To get a will, you will need to provide:

  • Your name and personal information
  • Statements to revoke prior wills and name an executor
  • List of property and recipients
  • Residue clause
  • Date
  • Signatures

Having a will is crucial to ensure your estate is effectively managed and that your children are well looked after. So, please don’t leave things to chance; ensure you’ve arranged a will as soon as possible.

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