September 2013 Creating a will. No one wants to think about it but it is an important part of your future and financial planning. Here are some points to remember when creating or updating your existing will. You may not know that some circumstances can affect the validity of an existing will:
- If you marry after you make your Will, your Will is void (of no effect);
- If you divorce after you make your Will, your spouse’s designation as an executor and/or beneficiary is void;
- Income and probate taxes may be minimized by the proper gifting of your RRSP’s, RRIF’s or insurance proceeds or by placing some (not all) assets in joint tenancy;
- Not all of your assets will form part of your estate and be distributed in accordance with your Will: land, bank accounts and investments in joint names may pass to the surviving co-owner by right of survivorship – the benefit of insurance policies, pensions, RRSPs and RRIFs may pass to designated beneficiaries;
- Executing an enduring Power of Attorney along with your Will enables your next of kin to pay your bills, purchase more suitable care or accommodation for you, raise money for necessary surgeries, etc., in the event you become incapacitated.
Download this quick questionnaire to complete before visiting your Wills, Estate & Trust lawyer. These two pages will provide your lawyer with all the pertinent information to begin the creation (or updating) of your will in the most effective manner.
This article is intended to be an overview of the law and is for informational purposes only. Readers are cautioned that this article does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied on as such. Rather, readers should obtain specific legal advice in relation to the issues they are facing.