Now Is the Best Time to Prepare Your Will

A well-considered legal Will provides peace of mind for the individual preparing it, as well as for their family and friends left to execute their wishes. However recent surveys show only about half of British Columbian adults have a legal Will. In BC “Make a Will Week” encourages the many adults who don’t have a current Will to prepare one, and families to discuss this topic and plan for the future. 

“Anyone who has real estate or children should have a Will,” said David Watts, a Notary in Vancouver. “Not having a Will could leave children vulnerable to outside decision-makers and family conflict if something happens to the parents. ”If the Public Guardian and Trustee is brought in to administer the estate, the Province may then decide on the future of dependent children and assets. “We know people care deeply about the wellbeing of their family, and so we urge British Columbians to get a Will drawn up by a trusted professional,” said Kristy Martin, a Notary in Langford (Greater Victoria). “Don’t wait until a crisis hits because it can be too late.”

One of the primary services BC Notaries deliver is will-writing

Having a Will gives you and your family peace of mind that your assets will go to those you love and your wishes will be followed. Most people find the process of preparing their will leads to important discussions and decisions and brings families closer. It also provides you with assurances that your assets will be distributed to family, friends, and charitable organizations according to your current wishes.

Having a professionally drafted Will also has the additional benefit of giving third parties, such as banks, other financial institutions, and even the courts, greater confidence that the Will maker was properly evaluated at the time of the Will drafting for competency and capacity. This confidence will often make it easier for executors when working with these third parties to execute the Will maker’s wishes. 

“Unclear instructions in a Will can bring into question the person’s intentions and wishes, and this ambiguity can result in conflict, with people challenging the Will in court and greatly extends the probate period,” said Daniel Boisvert, a Notary in Delta and President of BC Notaries Association. “By meeting with a Notary or other legal professional, we can guide you not just through the steps, but ask questions you might not have thought about and ensure your directions are clear to your executor.”

Real estate considerations

Many parents are helping their adult children purchase their first home, with some appearing on the title of the property. In this situation, it’s a good idea for both parties to have a Will, so that wishes around home ownership are made clear. BC Notaries often inform homebuyers about the benefits of having a Will while they are doing the conveyancing for a home purchase.

“When you purchase real estate or another substantial asset it’s a good time to begin planning to do a Will by considering who you would want to inherit your home and any other assets, as well as provide care to any dependent children,” said Tarja McLean, a Notary in Kelowna. “The next step is to visit a local Notary, who can use this information to assist you in preparing a Will. It takes less time than most people think, and they are usually relieved to have that plan in place.”

Taking the first steps

For most people, creating a Will doesn’t take as much time as they expect. A good way to start the process is to think about who you would want to care for your children, inherit your home and any other assets, and then visit a local Notary, who can assist you in preparing a legal Will. Notaries have extensive experience creating Wills that meet their clients’ specific needs. 

Learn more:
Who Needs A Will?
Donations By Will 

Posted in Personal Planning