Writing a Will is very important because it’s the only way you can be sure that your estate will be handled the way you want it to be handled. However, both your assets and your feelings may change over time, and Wills need to be revisited on a regular basis to make sure the Will is reflecting exactly what you want as time goes by.
Here are some important points to consider when revisiting your Will.
Do you know what you want done with your personal effects? Will they be going to the right person? You will want to be sure that your personal effects will be handled the way you want. If you want a friend or relative to have something of high monetary or sentimental value, you may want to include that in the Will instead of relying on your executor to remember an instruction you gave him or her on the phone.
Have you made arrangements for your pets? This is something that should be part of your estate planning whether it’s written in the Will or not. If you have pets that are important to you, then address the issue when you are writing or revisiting your Will.
Have you chosen the right executor? Did you discuss being an executor with that person or persons? If you live in British Columbia, it’s much easier to have an executor who also lives in BC. The bigger the estate, the more work there typically is for the executor.
Make sure you have chosen someone up to the task and an alternate in case the first person is unable to fulfill his or her role.
Have you provided for your children? This is especially important in blended families when a surviving spouse may not handle things the way you anticipate.
Be sure to consider the effects of taxes on your estate. There are ways to minimize taxes and have certain assets go directly to a beneficiary without going through probate. Tax planning is just one part of estate planning.
Revisit your Will every few years. Assets may change. You may have a lot more or a lot less than you did 10 years ago. Families fight over estates all the time. Some prudent planning on your part can save your friends and family significant heartache later on after you’re gone.
If you are in the process of redoing your will, or writing it for the first time, please feel free to contact us, as we have been helping clients write wills for over 30 years.
Based in White Rock, BC, Goddyn Notary Legal Services works with individuals, businesses and families to navigate notarial and legal matters since 1984.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to make an appointment with us, please call (604) 531-2611 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.