A will is a legal document which declares what will happen to your estate following your death. If you do not make a will, your estate will be considered intestate. When this happens, the courts will then determine what happens to your possessions.
For a will to be valid it must be in writing. It must also be signed by the will maker in the presence of two or more witnesses. These witnesses must also sign the will in the presence of the will maker. While this may sound easy enough, it is not as straight forward as you may think. Usually, the issues that arise from a will are caused not by what is in it but by what is left out. If you are trying to put your affairs in order, here are some things you must do when creating a will:
1. Decide what property to include
The first step in making a will is listing your significant assets. After you have made your list, decide which items you want to include in your will. If you are married, both you and your spouse will need to make separate wills as each person can only list possessions they hold separately and their share of joint assets.
2. Determine who will get what
Once you know which items will go in your will, assign these assets to those you want to have them after your passing. Do not take it for granted that your spouse, children and/or dependents will get what they deserve after you die. Ensure you put them in your will.
3. Pick who will assume guardianship of your children
If you are a parent or guardian, you should start thinking about who should assume guardianship of your minor children or dependents in the event of your death or inability to care for them. Your will may be used to express these wishes as well.
4. Select someone to manage your children’s inheritance
If you are leaving possessions to children or dependents who are not yet adults, you will also need to leave someone in charge of their inheritance until they reach an age at which they can take care of their affairs on their own. You do not necessarily need to appoint the same person who will assume guardianship of said children or dependents.
5. Choose an executor
Every will must have an executor. The executor is the person who will execute the tasks listed in your will. Before you name someone as an executor, discuss it with them and make sure they are willing to act in such a role.
6. Create your will
After you complete the steps listed above, you can then go ahead to create your will. When you have done this, store your will in a safe place and ensure your executor knows where to find it when the time comes.
Hiring a wills lawyer to help with your will
You are not required by law to hire a wills lawyer to create or make changes to your will. However, an experienced will lawyer can give you helpful advice and ensure your will has all the necessary information and meets the legal requirements of your province.
Do you need a wills lawyer in Surrey?
If you want to create or adjust your will, the experienced wills lawyer at Nirwan Law Corporation can assist. If you have been named in another person’s will, we can protect your interests their as well. So, give us a call today to schedule an appointment where we will explain in detail how we can help.