Have you considered making a will and have been delaying it, thinking of the legal expense that comes with it? Or do you feel that your assets are not large enough to make a will? While we tend to make will a pretty massive task, it can be as simple as writing down instructions for everything you own and to whom you want to give it. Making a will is free until you notarize it or the assets and beneficiaries are complicated.
This article will discuss when and why you need a will and how it can help you and your beneficiaries in estate planning.
When Should You Make a Will?
A will is a document wherein asset owners leave instructions about distributing their personal possessions like money, vehicles, jewelry, books, artworks, furniture, land, livestock, and keepsakes upon their demise. You should make a will or change it if any of these below events occur:
- Life events like marriage, divorce, birth of a child.
- You buy an asset, own multiple properties, or have valuable heirlooms.
- You own a business or have significant investments.
- Distribution of assets could cause tension for the surviving family members after your death.
- You want to give assets to a third party other than your spouse or children. This party could be a charity or a friend.
Why Should You Make a Will?
Even if you own a house with more than one dependent, having a will can be handy. Not having a will gives your family the right to inherit your assets as per the Indian Act. The law determines who gets what. But if you make a will, you can decide who gets what. The law follows your will. Hence, the name ‘will’ denotes your willingness to give assets to a person or organization.
You can give your assets to family, friends, charities, or other beneficiaries by mentioning their details in the will. While you can add who shall inherit what, you can also remove a person or persons from your will, even if they are family.
And if you think only non-living assets are transferrable, here is a revelation for you. You can also transfer your pet to a caretaker, family, or friend who can care for them after you. Your pet gets a new home, and you are assured that your dog, cat, or fish is being looked after well.
You can also transfer your social networking sites, email, photos, videos, and domain names to your beneficiary. If you don’t have a will, the law will distribute assets without considering whether they are of use to the beneficiary or not. Hence, a will can ensure the effective distribution of an asset to the person who can cherish it, something only you will know.
How Can a Will Ease Transfer of Complex Assets
As we said before, a will makes transferring assets to the chosen beneficiaries easy, even when complicated. For instance, a will can save your beneficiary from lengthy and expensive legal proceedings if you have global assets like a demat account, bank account, or real estate in another country or jurisdiction.
Another instance can be when you have a dependent with disabilities. You can arrange for their care in your will. A will reduces administrative paperwork and involvement of outsiders in private affairs, making the overall estate transfer fast and smooth.
When Do You Need a Professional to Make a Will?
While you don’t need a professional lawyer or a consultant when writing a will, you might want to take their help to ensure the estate is transferred tax efficiently. Also, a professional can help you add conditions and clauses like milestone achievement or preserving an heirloom to inherit the asset.
A will has the owner, the beneficiary, and the executor. The executor implements the instructions written in the will, carries administrative work, and is actively involved in overseeing the distribution of an asset. He needs to be honest, trustworthy, and organized. Hiring an estate planning expert as an executor can help you make regular changes to your will with changing times.
Contact Glenn Graydon Wright LLP in Oakville to Help You with Estate Planning
A professional estate planning consultant can help you prepare a will, transfer assets tax-efficiently and execute the will effectively. To learn more about how Glenn Graydon Wright LLP can provide you with your estate planning, contact us online or by telephone at 905-845-6633.