5 Reasons to Get Your Will Done Today
Making a will is your opportunity to protect your hard-earned assets and your legacy. Delaying the opportunity to draw up a will can affect the future of your loved ones.
A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that outlines your intentions for the distribution of your assets in the event of your passing. Additionally, a will enables you to appoint guardians for minor children. While personal situations vary, here are five reasons to get your will done today.
5 Reasons to Get Your Will Done Today
You may explicitly outline how you wish to have your assets handled after your passing, providing you with great peace of mind. You will know who will receive your assets (anything of financial value, including properties, investment accounts and digital assets, or even items of sentimental value), as well as how your assets will be spent (you can stipulate when and under what terms and conditions a beneficiary will have access to these assets).
You may be able to protect important relationships. For instance, common-law spouses do not have the same rights as legally married spouses and therefore do not automatically inherit assets after their spouse passes. Additionally, you may be able to avoid unintended recipients. You may wish to take both of these into consideration.
You may also be able to minimize potential family disputes about your estate that may arise. Without a will, there is no guarantee that your wishes, regardless of informal discussions with your loved ones, will be carried out.
You may ensure that your minor children will be raised by a guardian you trust by appointing who should care for them (in Ontario, a minor child is one who is under the age of 18; a minor child can be under 18 or 19 depending on your province) instead of letting the court decide among family members or a court appointed guardian.
You may be able to save the money, time and emotional energy of your heirs that they may otherwise spend in settling your affairs.
You may be able to minimize probate delays and estate administration fees, which leaves more assets for your beneficiaries on a more timely basis.
You may have the option to plan a “gift in will” to a charity or charities of your choice to leave a legacy without affecting your present lifestyle. In Canada, the government has created tax incentives to encourage legacy giving, which may provide tax advantages to save money in your estate or for your present needs.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t have a will, the typical default procedure for distributing your estate by each province varies. In Ontario, if you were to pass without having made a will, your estate would be distributed in accordance with the province’s Succession Law Reform Act.
While Canadian law does not require you to create a will with a lawyer or notary, if you have a complex situation, we advise you to consult with trusted professionals, perhaps with a lawyer and a financial advisor who are well versed in estate planning, to assess your particular situation.
At Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. we are happy to work with all your trusted partners to protect, preserve and build lasting family wealth.
Bloom Investment Counsel, Inc. is a well-established Toronto-based independent, privately-owned boutique investment management firm providing customized, actively managed, Canadian and U.S. dividend-paying portfolios for wealthy individuals, family offices, foundations, corporations, institutions and trusts.
Founded in 1985, Bloom has experience in managing in excess of $2.5B in assets over the years. We believe that generating independent cash flow is central to the success of our clients’ portfolios because it provides capital for the present day, if needed, while continuing to preserve and build wealth for the future.
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This content is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, tax, legal or accounting advice nor does it constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities referred to. Individual circumstances and current events are critical to sound investment planning; anyone wishing to act on this content should consult with his or her financial partner or advisor.