The Best Times to Update or Create a Will
Creating a Will is a vital responsibility for any adult and should be prioritized. A Will is a legal document that allows your property and assets to be distributed as you wish. Having an updated Will lessens the burden of administrative tasks on those involved and minimizes potential conflict for your family. It also provides needed clarity should you pass and prevents Canadian law from governing your assets.
Making a Will is not a one-time occurrence. You should have a Will that reflects your current situation and update it throughout your life as your circumstances change.
We encourage you to create or update your Will after major life events such as:
1. Getting married
While your spouse would still likely inherit your assets even if you die without a Will, due to Canadian law, there are reasons why you need a Will:
- other people may also be entitled to a share (such as children);
- your spouse will face innumerable roadblocks in accessing your assets (and even information about your assets) if they are not named as an “executor” of your Will. Without a Will there is no person with any authority to represent or handle your estate or your assets. To be in the best possible position, your spouse needs to have the authority of an executor.
2. Having children
You likely have specific feelings about whether you want your children to inherit your assets immediately on your death or not. Your intentions will only be carried out if you have a Will. Further, when making a Will, you will select a guardian responsible for raising your children should you and the other parent (if any) pass. Naming a guardian is critical to how your children will be raised and how they inherit your assets.
3. Purchasing a house, acquiring assets, or having a positive net worth
When you own high value assets it is important to have a Will to ensure those assets are distributed per your wishes.
4. A change in close relationships
It is crucial to name an estate representative whom you trust to follow your wishes. If you created a Will previously and you no longer have a stable relationship with the named estate representative, it is important you update your Will.
If you have questions about creating or updating your Will, contact our Wills & Estate Team – we’re here to help.