Many of us have heard some iteration of the saying ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’. Having a Will in place is most definitely preparing for the worst. Your preparation will however yield many benefits for your loved ones as they are dealing with your final arrangements and the emotions of your passing. The current COVID-19 Pandemic has many individuals thinking about the health of their families and implementing measures to ensure everyone remains safe. The Pandemic also has people planning for the future, and thinking about what steps they should be taking now. This should include looking into creating or updating your Will. Outlined below are reasons why having a Will in place today is important:
Without a Will your family will be forced to take on the burden of settling your estate, this may not be an easy task to accomplish. They will need to invest time, energy, and additional finances to put everything in order. Even if the process goes smoothly, there is added stress to your loved ones during an already stressful time. And everything does not always go smoothly, family members may end up disagreeing on the distribution of your estate. This can lead to potential legal battles and additional time and finances spent to settle your estate.
Through your Will, you have the ability to select how your estate will be allocated. Your instructions can be as specific as naming who will receive how much or as general as indicating individuals that will evenly divide your estate. Your Will allows you the ability to ensure particular items go to chosen individuals, this ensures family heirlooms that have been passed through generations are cared for by the individuals of your choosing, or your personal collection that you spent years building goes to the loved one that will appreciate it and care for it, versus just selling it. By specifically outlining how your estate will be distributed, you reduce the potential of conflict between family and simplifies the process of settling your estate.
Depending on the value of your estate, you are able to plan for and minimize how much of your estate will be absorbed by the government, either through taxes or judgments. In some scenarios, without a Will in place, the government can claim the majority of an estate, leaving your immediate family with significantly reduced rights to your money, property, and possessions.
If you have sole custody of children that are under the age of 18, you are able to indicate who you would like to be their guardian until a judge can make the decision on permanent guardianship. The judge, more often than not will take into consideration who you have trusted with your children’s well-being, in their decision making. You will also be able to appoint a trustee in your Will. If you feel your children are too young or not responsible enough to manage their portion of the estate, this trusted family member or friend would look after the estate with the best interest of the children in mind, until they surpass the defined age restrictions.
Preparing a Will can reduce the stress and burden on your family. As a seasoned law firm in Barrie, our experienced team at AGS Law will provide you with legal guidance and assistance with preparing your Will. Call us today 705-735-0003.