It is important to have a current will to ensure that your property and possessions are distributed the way you want. You can take the worry out of these decisions by letting your family know what you want by having a current will that specifies your wishes.
Your will is the easiest and most effective way to tell others how you want your property and possessions to be distributed. Even if you don’t have much money or property, it’s still a good idea to have a will so you can name an executor and make it clear who you want making decisions after you die.
Under the law in most provinces and territories, your nearest relatives are the people who will share in your estate if you die without making a will. Depending how complicated your estate is, your relatives may need to hire a lawyer and go to court to deal with your estate. Sometimes, a government agency will get involved to make sure that your estate is dealt with properly.
You do not need to get legal advice, but because a will and other estate planning documents are legal documents, it is a good idea to have your will prepared by a lawyer. Will kits and guides can help you get organized, but they can’t deal with everything. A lawyer will make sure that all your documents are prepared and witnessed properly. In Quebec and B.C., a notary public can also prepare a will.
It is important that your family knows where to locate your will and are able access it. It is equally important that you review your will every five years, or sooner if there has been a change in your family, to make sure that the will continues to reflect your wishes.
More information on wills and estates can be found on the Government of Canada website www.seniors.gc.ca under the heading “legal matters.”
Serving You is written by Legion command service officers. To reach a service officer, call toll-free 1-877-534-4666, or consult a command website. For years of archives, visit www.legionmagazine.com