Why you need a will

Why you need a will and how to get started

It isn’t just older adults who need a legal will.  You’re never too young to have one in place to address the unexpected.  As a matter of fact, you can draw up a legal will at the ripe old age of 16.

We all know that the majority of us don’t believe our lives will change in an instant but it can, and it does. For example, think about the average hiker who takes off for the day to climb a local mountain or go skiing in the back country and through some freak accident they end up loosing their life in a moment.  We’ve all heard stories like this, so taking a few hours to get a Will in place could save your family, spouse, children and other beneficiaries much time, effort and money.

What’s the downside of dying without a will?

  • You lose control over who gets how much of your estate and when.
  • You give up the right to appoint a guardian of your choice for any young children you have.
  • The costs to administer your estate will drastically increase.

Convinced it’s time?  Here’s what you need to know about making a Will.

  • First step: make a list of your finances and assets.
  • Think about what you want to happen to your money and other assets. More importantly, if you have children who do you want to raise them?
  • If your will is going to be straight forward you can grab a do-it-yourself kit offered at various stationary stores (about $35). However, if you choose to go this route, it’s really important to have it checked by a Notary or a Lawyer to ensure it’s legal.
  • If you think your will is going to be more complicated, you can reach out to The BC Branch of the Canadian Bar Association who offer a Lawyer Referral Service. An initial half-hour consultation costs $25 plus tax.
  • Consider who you want to appoint as the executor of your will. This is the person who will gather up your assets, pay your debts and carry out your instructions. You can also appoint more than one person if you wish.

Young or old, wealthy or not, it’s important to have a valid will in place. And remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. In fact, you are better off getting help from people who can look at your situation from an impartial point of view. But you should start the process regardless of your age, and there is no better time than today.

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