Do you have a will?
A will is a written document that speaks for you after you die. It communicates your wishes as to how your property and assets such as your house, car and investments are to be distributed and to whom. It allows you to name a guardian for your children should you pass away before they reach adulthood. It even allows you to make your own funeral arrangements.
Anyone who owns assets and property should have a will. Wills should be updated as circumstances in your life change such as the birth of a child, a death in the family, marriages, divorces and property acquisition. You should also review your will regularly to make sure it continues to reflect your wishes.
What happens if I don’t have a will?
The process to administer your estate if you were to die without a will often takes longer and is more costly. Without one, your family will have to pay the price of settling your estate, both financially and emotionally.
If you don't have a will, the government may create one for you and will choose your executor, how your assets will be distributed and who will care for your children. Do you really want the government making those important decisions?
Ways to make a will
Making a will does not have to be difficult or expensive. There are a few ways to create one:
1) Write your own. A will is legal if it is written and signed in your own handwriting. It does not have to be signed by witnesses. However, problems can occur if it's not entirely understood. Also, if you're not familiar with the law and include instructions that are contrary to what the law permits, your wishes may not be carried out.
2) Have it written by a paralegal. This is a cost-effective option, provided the contents are straightforward.
3) Have it written by a lawyer. This is usually the best route, particularly if you have considerable assets and a complex way to divide up those assets. A lawyer is qualified to write wills that clearly state your wishes, so there are no misunderstandings.
Once you have a will, keep it somewhere safe. You can store it at home with other important documents, preferably in a fireproof box, but make sure your executor knows where to find it. If you had a lawyer draw it up for you, they will also keep a copy with their records.
There is a life insurance plan for every income and life stage. It can range from covering final expenses to acting as an instrument that protects the growth and dispensation of your estate.
If you have questions about making your will or how life insurance can work for you, your Financial Advisor will be happy to discuss it with you.