Making a Will is important for a number of reasons. Not only does executing a Will ensure that assets are distributed according to the testator’s wishes, it also saves family members the energy and expense associated with to Court and filing an application to enable the administration of your estate. Despite the importance of making a Will, many people put it off for various reasons. This article is designed to provide you with some of the most common, misguided excuses for not executing a Will.
1. I don’t need a Will because my partner will get everything.
A common misconception is that a romantic partner will automatically inherit all property left by the deceased, but this is not always the case. Without being legally married – even in cases of long-term cohabitation – surviving partners may, in fact, receive nothing if the other partner passes away. In addition, even married couples cannot count on automatic inheritance of all property left by the deceased. In the absence of a Will, the laws of intestacy determine the division of an estate.
2. Making a Will is too expensive.
Individuals are often put off by the purported cost of making a Will. This fails to take into account the fact that dying without a valid Will (intestate) may cost the family and loved ones of the deceased much more in the long run. Moreover, simple Wills are often not expensive and can be bundled with Powers of Attorney in order to reduce overall costs. Focus on the value of having a valid Will versus the cost.
3. I don’t have the time.
Making a Will does not have to be time consuming, compare it to the time it takes for commute to work or drive to the cottage. Creating a Will brings peace of mind, encourages appropriate estate planning, and ultimately spares family and loved ones much more time after your death.
4. I don’t have much to leave.
Making a Will is a good idea for anyone, no matter how large or small their estate. A Will serves several purposes in addition to determining the division of an individual’s assets. For example, any individual with minor children needs to ensure that their Will appoints a guardian who is responsible for their care. It also allows appoints the person who is able to make decisions on behalf of the estate, and to deal with government agencies, banks, and other third parties.
Moreover, as an individual gets older, the value of their assets and real property is likely to increase. A Will can ensure that the increased assets are distributed appropriately in the case of untimely death.
5. I’m too young, I don’t need to make a Will.
For adults, there is no age too young to create a Will. People are rarely given time to plan for accidents and illnesses. Life can happen when you least expect it. A Will brings the peace of mind of knowing that children will be cared for, assets will be distributed appropriately, or even that spouses will not have to sell the family home due to an untimely death.
For additional information, or advice in drafting a Will, please consult a TEP.