Getting a will completed seems to be a daunting task. After all, does anyone really want to delve into if you die, when you die conversations? There are a host of reasons though why you want to put it on the top of your to-do list.
I took a less stressful approach that can help you accomplish the task quicker, easier and with less expense. It might be useful to you as you take steps to check this task as done. Finally.
Always get expert advice that applies to your particular situation, country or jurisdiction.
Five Commanding Reasons For Having A Will
1. The Government Is In Charge Of Your Estate Without A Will
In Canada the term is intestate. Many countries have similar approaches. You can assume that your spouse will inherit the joint ownership properties but what does that mean for non-traditional families? Many provincial intestacy rules do not recognize common law even in this day and age.
A percentage of your estate will be distributed to your children but how much and when? The outcome is fraught with questions and uncertainty. If you think the conversation is hard for you to approach now, imagine your family dealing with it after you are gone.
Many of us now have time to travel. When you travel or live abroad you need to consider how that may affect your estate and those left behind.
You would never think of burdening your children or family members with an important task in real life when they are deep in distress. Yet, they will be reeling with the emotions of your death. You want to position them in a process that moves forward smoothly and offers as little disruption as possible.
3. Someone May Force The Sale of Your Family Treasures
The cottage full of memories that you intended to provide a lasting legacy to future generations may have to be sold. Your estate needs to be properly funded so property taxes and other applicable taxes can be covered. Perhaps your children do not have the means to support the family farm or remaining mortgages. If you have property abroad other jurisdictions may have different rules and/or regulations. Working through the process helps you identify and prepare in advance for the realities faced.
4. Estate Costs Increase Without A Will In Place
The small cost of preparing a will is without a doubt less expensive than the expenses of the legal process to unravel your estate afterward. There are tax saving strategies and other estate planning benefits that you can address when you have a will. If your loved ones lack the financial expertise you can share direction and process to inform estate decisions.
Expenses need to be funded if loved ones have to take time off work to travel multiple places or far away in order to wind up your estate.
5. You Have No Control Over The Execution Of Your Wishes
Appointing an executor who has the ability and skill set to take on the execution of your intention takes the pressure off those remaining. You may want to re-consider appointing your cousin, who you respect for his knowledge but is older than you. People our age or older may not be the most competent executor in this age of technology or in ten years.
Making sure your wishes are clear, leaves your loved ones free to grieve. Forcing those near you to make decisions about such things as cremation or burial or organ donation can cause unneeded guilt and discord.
LegalShield is an American company with Canadian operations in 4 Provinces. They provide support and access to legal services, including making a Will. Their worksheets and services helped me move forward with mine. Billie Sinclair, my LegalShield Independent Associate (find her contact information in Learn More) kept me informed and provided gentle nudges along the way, as I considered my wishes throughout the process.
Contact Billie Sinclair of LegalShield
Read Billie’s inspiring story of sharing in At Forty Five Celebrate Audacious series.
In Canada, this government website contains many resources for Seniors Link: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/seniors/forum.html
In The United States, this site contains information per State Link: https://www.uslegalforms.com/wills/how-to-write-a-will.htm
If you live in other countries, there are some different considerations. Google Preparing Wills and review resources in your country. Always remember Wikipedia may not be a trustworthy source of information.