April 22, 2024

Why Do You Need a Will in Canada?

A will a legal document that forms part of your estate plan to ensure your wishes are respected long after you're gone. Learn why you need a will in Canada.

Have you ever wondered what happens to your assets and loved ones after you're gone?

Many people prefer to avoid this question, yet it's one of life's certainties we must address.

Enter the world of Wills and Estate Planning. These legal documents hold the power to ensure your wishes are carried out precisely as you desire. But why are they so crucial, especially in Canada?

We unravel the complexities surrounding Wills and estate planning, exploring their significance and the peace of mind they offer. From defining what a Will entails to understanding the role of an executor in estate plans, let's embark on this journey together.

What is a Will?

In its simplest form, a will is your voice beyond the veil. It is a legal document that forms part of your estate plan and ensures your wishes are respected long after you're gone.

It's like drafting a roadmap for your assets, guardianship, and executorship. Here's what typically goes into a will:

  • Estate Assets Distribution: Your property and finances find their rightful heirs (Bank accounts, property, tangible assets, and other assets).
  • Guardianship Designation: This is who cares for your little ones: children, beloved pets or other dependents.
  • Executor Assignment: The person entrusted to tie up loose ends and handle your affairs.

Certainly, it's in your legal and beneficial interest to prepare a valid Will. It's like crafting a personalized blueprint for your legacy, ensuring your intentions are crystal clear.

Pretty simple right? Now, let’s go over why you should have a Will in Canada. 

Read Also: A Definitive Guide to Preparing a Will in BC

Benefits of Preparing a Will in Canada

a will document getting prepared

1. Your Wishes Won’t Be Guesswork For Your Family

In times of loss, clarity can be the light amidst the darkness.

While it's natural to assume that our loved ones understand our desires implicitly, reality often paints a different picture.

Grief has a way of clouding judgment, making decision-making a Herculean task.

Without a Will in place, the burden of deciphering your intentions falls squarely on the shoulders of your grieving family. This can lead to emotionally charged decisions and potential discord among family members.

However, with a Will, you provide a roadmap for your loved ones to follow - a blueprint that spells out your wishes in black and white.

By articulating your decisions with estate planning documents, you relieve your family of the heavy burden of guesswork. Your choices are made crystal clear, ensuring your wishes are respected and honoured during a tumultuous time.

Important Note: You inform the chosen executor and guardians of their roles within your will. This offers your family reassurance and clarity, fostering a sense of preparedness for the future.

2. You Have the Power to Decide Who Closes Your Estate

Not everyone is equipped to navigate the complexities of estate settlement. This is where the role of an executor shines. But why do you need an executor for a will?

First and foremost, an executor serves as the guardian of your final wishes. They are entrusted with ensuring your estate is settled according to your directives. This involves tasks ranging from asset distribution to debt settlement and everything in between.

When selecting an executor, it's crucial to consider traits such as trustworthiness, organizational skills, and a willingness to commit the necessary time and energy to the task. After all, they will be responsible for implementing your wishes.

Note that you're not locked into your choice forever. You can continually update your will to reflect an alternate executor, ensuring that the person entrusted with your final affairs is the best fit for the job.

3. The Courts Can Leave Out Dependants and Common Law Partners

Passing away without a will - known as dying intestate - can have significant implications for your loved ones.

In such cases, the government divides your assets according to predefined rules, which may not align with your wishes. They use the Wills, Estates and Succession Act to distribute your assets as follows:

  • If you have a surviving spouse but no children, your spouse receives 100% of your estate.
  • If you have a spouse and a child who is your spouse's child, your spouse receives the first $300,000. The remaining estate is divided equally between your spouse and children.
  • If you have a spouse and children who are not your spouse's children, your spouse receives the first $150,000. The remainder is divided equally between your spouse and children.
  • If you have no children or spouse, your estate is divided equally between your parents. If only one parent is alive, they inherit your entire estate.
  • If your parents are deceased, your siblings inherit your estate. If your siblings are also deceased, their children (nieces and nephews) inherit their share.

This can be particularly problematic for dependents and partners in common-law relationships. Without the legal framework of a will, these individuals may find themselves excluded from any inheritance, regardless of their relationship with the deceased.

It's a stark reminder of the importance of proactive estate planning. By drafting a will, you retain control over the distribution of your assets, ensuring that those closest to you are provided for according to your wishes.

4. Your Children, Dependents (Including Pets) Can Have Continued Support

The thought of leaving your loved ones behind can be daunting, but ensuring their well-being is important.

Your will provides crucial guidance for those who depend on you.

Within your will, you can designate guardians for your children and caregivers for your dependents, including your beloved pets. You offer reassurance and stability during a tumultuous time by explicitly outlining these arrangements.

Preplanning these arrangements provides peace of mind and ensures a smoother transition for your loved ones if the worst-case scenario occurs.

Having open and honest conversations with those you entrust with these responsibilities is essential, ensuring everyone is prepared for their role.

Fortunately, your will is not set in stone. You can revise your appointed guardians as needed, ensuring that your choices reflect your current wishes and circumstances.

5. You Can Decide To Donate 

Is there a cause close to your heart? Thankfully, your will grants you the power to leave a lasting impact through charitable donations.

By including provisions for charitable giving in your will, you can allocate gifts or monetary donations to organizations that align with your values and beliefs. Whether it's a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or even specific assets, your will allows you to leave a meaningful legacy.

You support causes that matter most to you and inspire others to follow in your philanthropic footsteps. It's a testament to your values and a tangible way to make a difference.

Have Peace & Leave a Legacy, Contact CH Notary

Ensure your legacy is safeguarded and your wishes are honoured by having a legal Will in place.

Located in Clayton Heights, Surrey, CH Notary specializes in making wills and estate planning seamless, straightforward, and fulfilling.

By entrusting CH Notary with your estate planning needs, you gain peace of mind knowing that your affairs are in capable hands. Our experienced team is dedicated to guiding you through this life stage with care and expertise.

Don't leave your legacy to chance. Fill out our quick contact form to arrange a visit and begin your journey toward peace of mind and a lasting legacy.

Prepare your Will with CH Notary

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Frequently Asked Questions

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