Frequently Asked Questions
Is it important to have a will?
You’ve intended to get it done, but it hasn’t been a priority and it’s really not something you want to think about. If you have been putting off creating a will you are not alone, fewer than 50% of Canadians have a will.
Death is not a topic most people want to discuss. It brings up many emotions thinking about one’s own death or that of a loved one. The issue is that we don’t know when that time will come. Procrastinating creating a will is placing your family in a difficult position if you die intestate (without a will). It won’t be you who has an issue with your lack of a will it will be your family.
When you die intestate, you allow the courts to determine:
How your estate is to be distributed, which is not necessarily how you would have wanted it done.
Who will take care of your minor children! Should both parents die while children are minors, the government will decide who will raise your children. Likely a family member or friend will be chosen for your children to live with. This could cause several issues, the chosen guardians may not be someone you would want to raise your children, additionally, it could cause family issues when others in your family believe that they should raise the children. This could place your family and children in a very difficult position.
Who will be your personal representative to settle your estate. Your closest relative has the right to be appointed as your personal representative. Your relationship with this relative may be unfavourable and not someone you wish to settle your estate and make important decisions on your behalf.
Having a will allows you to:
Put your wishes in writing, taking the burden off of your loved ones
Choose the right person to act as your executor (take our EXECUTOR ASSESSMENT to determine if the person you have in mind is a good fit to fulfill the role)
Indicate who will take care of your minor children both physically and as the trustee
Specify who will care for your pets
Most importantly having a will provides you with peace of mind. If something happens to you, you have appointed a trustworthy and capable executor. Your family won’t have to struggle with how they should manage your estate.
A will is not set in stone. As changes occur in your life it is important to review and revise your will. Marriage, divorce, death of family members, birth of children & grandchildren are a few examples of when you should review your will.
Please make an appointment today. For recommendations on lawyers or services to prepare your will please CONTACT US.
I have an executor listed in my will but now I don’t think they are the right fit. Can I change my executor?
Yes, you can. Things change in our lives and what was a good solution in the past may not be the right answer. Contact your lawyer to have your executor changed.
Can I name “The Professional Executor” as my executor or trustee in my will?
Yes, you can. Please contact us prior to drafting your will and we will discuss.
I am an executor but need help. Can you help?
We can help! Please send us a note to set up a call.
What is the difference between an executor, a beneficiary and a trustee?
An Executor or Estate Trustee executes a will and manages the estate, distributing assets to beneficiaries per the wishes stated in the will, as well as other administrative tasks such as ensuring tax returns are completed.
A Beneficiary is someone who benefits from an estate, trust or life insurance policy.
A Trustee is the administrator of a trust, managing assets and distributing to beneficiaries per the wishes stated in the trust or the will.