Monday, February 7, 2011

A Serious Matter

Photo Source: Life

Today, I am going to take a look at a project that I hope all of my readers will think about undertaking, but that I hope in doing so, no one will choose the DIY approach! What I'm talking about here is making a will (specifically for Canadians).  Though I'm not a lawyer by profession, those who know me personally will be aware that I have what's probably an unusual interest in this sort of stuff.

What you should know is that only 30% of Canadians currently have an up-to-date legal will, but everyone over the age of majority should have one in place. Basically speaking, this is your chance to determine what happens to your family, assets and possessions rather than leaving it up to your Provincial Government to decide for you. (You may not like their estate plan!) All I'm saying is seriously question your reasons for choosing not to have a will in place.

A second point is that there are practically a million and one DIY will kits out there that offer a cheap and easy alternative to using a lawyer to draft your will. The problem is that a will can be a fairly technical document even for a simple estate and a lot can go wrong with a cheap kit. The reason to have a live person drafting this document for you is that they are aware of what can go wrong and can ask all the in-depth questions necessary to get the right fit for your family. You just can't get that for $29.95!

For us, guardianship and custody was probably the most difficult hurdle to address in the planning process. This morning, an article appeared in my inbox from another blog that I follow. The article was titled, EENY, MEENY, MINEY, MO, WHO WILL GET YOUR KIDS AFTER YOU GO…
It talks about some of the ins and outs of how the law (in Canada) handles minor children when both of their parents are deceased and I thought I'd share the information in case this is something that you are  also thinking about.

What you can do yourself is begin the process of getting organized to make a will. It took us about a year to get all the pieces in place and I don't think that's an unusual time frame. A good place to start getting basic information about the process is from your bank/financial institution. A lot of them have will planning kits available online. Another great resource is your church - I've seen the kits distributed by the Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto as well as by the Canadian Anglican and United Churches and they are  all top-notch and free.

Keep an eye open in May 2011 as that is a time of year when there are dozens of free public information sessions available nationally on making a will/leaving a legacy.

PS. This just in:

39%         Amount of Canadian millionaires who don't have an estate plan

22%        Amount of Canadian millionaires who haven't even thought about it

DIY Rating: 0 

Make this a priority, but be sure to hire an expert to help!

Google search: "dying intestate ontario" for a good 
summary on why this needs to be on your 2011 To-Do list.

1 comment:

  1. Next time, I promise to stick to something lighter like knitting and antiquing!!!


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