Wills

Every adult should have a Will, regardless of whether they are single, in a committed relationship, have immediate family, or own property.

A Will “speaks” on death and appoints an executor/trustee who will administer the estate (to sell assets, pay taxes and transfer gifts to beneficiaries, for example).

A Will should be reviewed every few years or after a life event, such as a decline in wellness, selling a business, the loss of a spouse or child, divorce, or a new relationship. Many people have blended families and Wills and other estate planning work can direct how each side of the family is provided for.

Not having a Will may result in intestacy, and then legislation determines who will administer the estate, who the beneficiaries are, and how much they will receive. Making a Will gives a person control over the disposition and administration of their estate and guides grieving family.

It is typical for a Will to only be part of estate planning: an Enduring Power of Attorney and/or Representation Agreement may also be prepared so that property and personal care matters can be dealt with if a person needs assistance and is unable to make these decisions.  There are times when, in addition to a Will, Enduring Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement, more involved estate planning work such as cohabitation or marriage agreements, corporate work, trusts or transfers of property are recommended by lawyers or accountants.

Everyone’s situation is different, so professional advice should be sought on what types of planning documents are most appropriate.

 

The above is for information purposes only and is not legal advice.

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