10 Questions To Consider When Drafting Your Will
Everyone can benefit from having a will, but the process of writing one can be daunting. You can organize your thoughts on the subject by answering the following 10 questions to consider when drafting your will.
Who Will Prepare Your Will?
Every person is unique and their will should reflect that fact. While it is possible to prepare a will on your own, having help from a lawyer will ensure that your will reflects your particular needs and circumstances.
What Is Your Marital Status?
Your will must indicate whether you are married, single or in a common law relationship. It is important to write a new will, or at least have your will reviewed by a lawyer, whenever your marital status changes. If you don't, you risk all or certain parts of your will being declared void.
Who Will Care For Your Children If You Die Before They Reach Their Majority?
Typically, you will name the other parent of your child as their appointed guardian in your will. However, it is a good idea to have a backup in case that person dies before you. You should seek the agreement of any person you intend to name as a guardian for minor children before you write your will.
Do You Need A Testamentary Trust?
A testamentary trust is a legal mechanism by which some or all of your estate is transferred to a trustee, who manages it until it can be distributed to your beneficiaries. This is an effective way to ensure that your estate is protected and managed until your minor children are old enough to receive their inheritance, but there are lots of other reasons a testamentary trust might be necessary.
Who Will Be The Executor Of Your Estate?
Your executor, or personal representative, has many responsibilities, including planning your funeral and probating your will. It is a good idea to ask your chosen executor if they will be willing to act before naming them in your will.
What Powers Will Your Executor Have?
You can set limits on the specific powers that your executor will have with respect to managing and distributing your property. What powers you grant your executor will depend heavily on what assets and debts form part of your estate and how you want them divided.
What Property, Assets And Debt Do You Have?
Preparing a summary of your current assets and debts will enable your lawyer to advise you appropriately about estate planning tools, including tax considerations.
What Responsibilities Do You Have To Ex-Spouses Or Children?
If you pay spousal support or child support, you need to account for those in your will. Your responsibilities don't end when you die.
How Do You Want Your Estate Distributed?
Think about who you would like to receive the bulk of your estate and what you would like to happen if that person dies before you. Also think about any specific gifts that you want to make. These can consist of personal property that you want to go to a specific person or charitable donations.
Who Will Witness The Signing Of Your Will?
Two people need to witness you sign the will. The witnesses can be anyone who is at least 18 years of age but they cannot be a beneficiary of your will. It is fine if your executor witnesses your will as long as your executor is not also a beneficiary.
These 10 questions to consider when drafting your will can help you prepare so that you have all the information your lawyer will need before you contact our Alberta wills and estates lawyers. Having a will protects your family from uncertainty and unnecessary expenses, so call today!
Contact Verhaeghe Law Office Today For Legal Assistance With Your Will
Our Edmonton wills and estates lawyer can assist you with your wills and estates needs. Contact our law office today to book a consultation with one of our wills and estates lawyers. Our legal team would be pleased to assist you.
Disclaimer: Please note the content prescribed in this article is intended to act as a general overview on a legal topic and does not represent legal advice. For specific legal advice on your matter please consult with a lawyer.