Making a will is one of the most important parts in estate planning and securing your family’s future. You’ve worked hard for what you’ve got so you want to make sure your estate is distributed as per your wishes when you are no longer here.
A will is absolutely vital if you have children under the age of majority, or are part of a blended family. Your will is where you appoint guardians for those children rather than leaving it to the courts to decide. You can also set up a trust fund for any life insurance for their future care and education, and decide whether they inherit the entire trust once they reach the age of majority, or if you’d prefer it to be delayed until they are older. Your priorities will differ depending on the stage of life you are at, however, wills can be updated at any time. It’s never too soon to create a will as the future is uncertain.
What happens if you do not have a will?
People assume that their spouse will inherit everything if they die without a will, but that is not always the case, especially when children are involved. Blended families or unmarried couples add a further complexity to not having a will. If you pass away without a valid will, or if your will can’t be located, you’re considered to have died “intestate”. When this happens, an estate administrator will be appointed to wind up your estate and will use provincial laws to decide how to distribute your estate, which may not be how you would choose to do so. A lack of a will may cause delays in distributing assets to beneficiaries, and may mean higher costs, and without a will you can’t plan your estate to minimize taxes. For example, taxes can be deferred on death when the assets pass to your spouse, but this doesn’t happen when assets pass to your children or other family members.
Dying without a will creates a lot of work and stress for the loved ones you leave behind at an already extremely difficult time.
Make your will in Kelowna
A will is a legally binding document and our team of Kelowna lawyers has vast experience in assisting our clients with creating a legal will. No matter how big or small your estate, our Kelowna wills and estate lawyers will treat you with the utmost care and respect in providing professional estate planning services.
We can help you with any situation including, but not limited to:
- Wills for couples in long term marriages or relationships with adult children, or single persons with adult children
- Wills for couples or single persons with young children, with provisions appointing guardians and creating trusts to provide for the management of funds until the children are mature
- Wills for couples in blended families, with children from previous relationships
- Wills with Spousal Trusts for tax planning
- Wills with Discretionary Trusts for disabled children or other beneficiaries
- Wills with Discretionary Trusts for children with creditor issues or whose marriages have broken down
- Wills with Discretionary Trusts for adult children with addictions