10 Things to Consider When Preparing Your Will
At Verhaeghe Law – we have helped thousands of Albertans with their last will and testament as well as amend pre-existing wills. For your convenience, we have prepared a list of 10 things you should consider when preparing your will. By no means is this list exhaustive – but it does hit on some important points that you should consider when drafting your will. Hiring an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer will allow you to draft a comprehensive will that includes things outside this basic checklist as well. For more information on drafting a will – contact our law firm today by dialing 587-410-2500.
Here Are 10 Things To Consider When Preparing Your Will
- Cancel your previous will: If you are looking to create a new will – the first order of business should be cancelling your previous will. A lawyer can assist with this.
- Choose your personal representative: Ensure that you elect someone (in some cases more than one person) to be your personal representative. Before naming them to act as your personal representative – ensure that they have consented and agreed to be your personal representative. Remember that your personal representative will have access to all of your personal representative needs and sensitive information.
- Make a summary of all your property and debts: Ensure that you have a consolidated list of all assets, bank accounts, cash, property, debts, loans, RRSPs, pension plans, insurance and insurance policies, securities, annuities, stocks, bonds and anything under your name or anything you are legally entitled to.
- Bequests/Gifts: Make a list of who gets what. Put some thought into how everything can be distributed in a way that will minimize estate litigation after your passing. And ensure that these requests are included in the will when your lawyer drafts it on your behalf. The more detailed you are – the less chances for conflict down the road. If you believe there may be disagreements – consider writing out your intentions in the will as to why you selected which beneficiary for your property and belongings.
- Funeral preferences: Indicate how you wish your funeral arrangements to take place to minimize stress and grief for your loved ones down the road.
- Tax Implications: Your lawyer may recommend consulting with a tax consultant, tax lawyer or accountant to review and consider tax implications from your bequests or estate matters. We recommend this be taken into consideration as well.
- Hire a wills and estates lawyer to draft your will: Once you have completed the above steps – contact a wills and estates lawyer to help draft your will. Your lawyer can ensure all your legal requirements are met.
- Payment for your personal representative(s): Outline how your personal representative(s) will handle payments out of your estate and what they are entitled to when handling your last wishes.
- What to do with your will: Ensure you have certified or notarized copies of your will. You may want to consider giving copies of your will (if you have no plans to change it later on) to your beneficiaries. Keep the original will in a safe place.
- Review your will regularly: Sometimes circumstances and relationships may change. We recommend you review your will at least once a quarter to ensure you are comfortable with the provisions and if circumstances do change – consult with your lawyer to make amendments to your will.
If you need legal assistance in preparing your will – contact our Edmonton law firm today and speak directly with an Edmonton wills and estates lawyer. We are conveniently located in the Mayfield Business Centre and have helped clients across Alberta with legal assistance regarding wills and probates.
*Please note the content of this blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. We encourage you to seek legal advice from a wills and estates lawyer for any answers related to wills and estates in Alberta.