A will is an important document to have in order before you pass away to ensure that your assets and estate are inherited by the right people, quickly and efficiently. Without a will, you could drag out the probate process for your family, costing them time and money which could easily be avoided with a will – not to mention it will save your family from any arguments over ‘who gets what’ of your belongings. Your will outlines crucial life decisions for you and your family that should not be overlooked. If you have a will, that’s perfect! But keep in mind that a will you made 5, 10, or even 20 years ago may not work for you forever.
In fact, you should take a few moments every year to review your current will to make sure it’s still up to date. We like to recommend you do this review at the same time each year for consistency, sort of like a spring cleaning if you will.
When you do this review you’ll want to think about whether…
You have children/grandchildren to add to your will
If you are a parent, your will outlines what will happen to your underage children in the event that you die unexpectedly. It also outlines which of your assets and how much of your estate is to be inherited by your children. As a parent, a will protects your children – so be sure to update it when necessary. If you are a grandparent, you may decide to bequeath some of your estate or assets to your grandchildren as well. So, as your kids have their own, other updates might be done to include them as well.
You want to change inheritors or the executor on your will
There are many reasons you may want to change inheritors or the executor on your will. Whether you’re recently married, divorced, in a common-law relationship, or someone on your will who was listed as either the executor or inheritor has died. When it comes to any major life event such as this, remember to make the necessary changes to your will. You may also want to update your current inheritors by disinheriting someone on your will, to ensure they receive nothing from your estate. Whatever the case may be your estate lawyer is here to help you make those changes without judgment.
You have new assets you need to protect
Let’s say you made a will 15 years ago. There’s a lot that can change in that timeframe – even in 5 years, a lot can happen. Maybe you’ve bought a new car or started your own business in that time. Maybe you moved into a bigger property or bought a recreational asset such as a boat or a cottage. Whatever it may be, ensure that you have any large assets included or new properties added to your estate and protected by keeping your will updated.
Thinking about life after you’ve passed away is never fun, but what’s worse to think about is your family dealing with a mountain of paperwork and legal fees because you didn’t take the right steps to protect them completely. A will can drastically save you and your family a lot of pain and hardship in the event of your passing as well while eliminating squabbles throughout the process. To ensure that your will currently reflects your current needs and expectations, work with us at Galbraith Family Law. Our team of estate law professionals have years of experience assisting people with their wills, estate plans, and powers of attorney. Just give us a call at 705-302-0394 to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers to review any changes that should be made and we’ll see to it that, your wishes are updated and outlined in detail.