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When Should You Write Your Will?

Writing a Will is an important part of planning for your future and ensuring that your wishes are taken care of. It is hard to believe that over 50% of Canadians, many of whom are past retirement age, do not have a Will. It’s important to think about when you should write and update your Will, as it can be a complex process that requires careful consideration.

When Is the Time Right to Write My Will?

While there is no exact answer to this question, it is often suggested that you write your Will as soon as you are an adult—generally by the age of 18. After writing your Will, you should continuously update it throughout your life. This is to ensure it is always accurate and that any changes in your financial or personal circumstances are reflected in your Will.

There are some other occasions where, if you haven’t already, you should write or update your Will. These include:

  • When you have accumulated some assets or money
  • When you have married or have divorced
  • When you have or are considering having children
  • When you have purchased property or a house
  • When you are going to retire or have recently retired
  • If it has been over 5 years since you last updated your Will

The Importance of Writing a Will

A Will gives you the opportunity to put down on paper your wishes for after your passing. Your goals of how and to whom you would like your estate distributed are important components of a Will. This will ensure your wishes about how your legacy is passed on will be fulfilled and will hopefully avoid any disagreements amongst your beneficiaries.

If you pass without a Will in place, you are what is known as intestate under Canadian law. This means that you have left no specific wishes or instructions to determine how and to whom your assets should be distributed and divided. In such a circumstance provincial law will take over in terms of administering your estate, which can be a lengthy and expensive process and is far from ideal.

While it is not always pleasant to think about your passing, it is important to write a Will to ensure that your assets benefit the people and/or organizations to whom you wish to pass your legacy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding writing or updating your Will, you can seek help from a lawyer to guide you through the process.

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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.

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