Dont Make The Mistake Of Thinking A Will Is Not A Priority

By: News Canada

(NC)-Did you know that many Canadians mistakenly believe that having a will is not a priority? Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a will is probably the most important document you will ever write.

If you die without a will, the province in which you live will decide how to distribute your estate. And if you have children who are minors, the provincial government (through the Public Trustee) will decide who will raise and care for them. Children might be taken into public custody until guardians are identified.

The provincial government has its own common and impersonal formulas for the distribution of your estate. Some money or assets may end up going to places and persons you may have not intended.

For example, under these laws, each child would receive a proportion of the Estate created by a pre-established formula. So a son or daughter who was already well-established, completed university and had their own home

and a secure income, might end up receiving the same amount as another child with very different needs.

As well, without a will there could be no special gifts to your lifelong friend, or a bequest to your favourite community or non-profit organization such as a health charity or a group like Amnesty International.

In sum, no concerns for your thoughts on the size of any bequests to anyone would be addressed without a proper will.

Avoid Family Disputes

Having a proper will also goes a long way to preventing family tiffs. A current study showed that one in five Canadians has experienced family disputes over inheritances.

It is likely many of these involved circumstances where there was no will. With a properly-written will the guesswork is eliminated, and the family is clear on your intentions. The emotional turmoil which is natural at such a time can be greatly reduced by having made your wishes clear in a written will.

Avoid Unnecessary Delays and Costs

Another compelling reason to have a will is to save money. Many people mistakenly think their estates are too small to warrant having a will, but the contrary is true.

The smaller the estate, the greater the need to have things settled quickly. Without a will, a person's affairs are managed by provincial authorities, who often have hundreds of files to attend to, which could cause unnecessary delays and extra costs.

There are many reasons why people never get around to writing a will, including the belief that it is costly - a common misconception, and it doesn't have to be.

To receive a free information package on wills, please write to Amnesty International, 214 Montreal Road, Suite 401, Ottawa, Ontario K1L 1A4.

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