What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
The quickest answer to this question is …your assets will be divided based on the law and not necessarily as you wish. In a 2018 poll by the Angus Reid Institute, it was reported that 51% of Canadians do not have a Will. And while you would think that Covid would have prompted a surge in interest in Will Planning, what the research shows is that Canadians are still dragging their feet on Estate Planning.
Will planning can be a bit like buying a security system for your home. You know you need one but the impetus to buy often comes when a neighbour’s home gets broken into. So here at SMART Wills, much like the research demonstrates, we have had numerous requests for Wills, but it seems to take some time, even up to a year for our clients to sort out and declare their wishes for us to complete the process.
Quite often it is a life change that stimulates the inquiry: a new baby, the purchase of a cottage, the loss of a close friend or a family member. What we do know from our experience is what you don’t want to happen if you don’t have a Will. Not having a Will can potentially create problems for your loved ones. Children can become wards of the Ontario Government, not your family or friends; your money can be tied up and not available to care for your family and in the worst-case scenario, if you pass without family, funds simply go to the government.
There are many reasons to create a Will. They really are today a financial planning tool. Updating can be done via the use of a Codicil and most of us need to review them every 3-5 years much like insurance policies.
In today’s complex modern world there are a variety of ways to approach Will/Estate Planning. For many of the SME’s that we service at SMARTWills.ca, we consider the complexity of your life, size of the Estate, second marriages, family dynamics and Probate avoidance. So, initiating the process is a great start, but the follow-through is all that counts with the Courts and your Financial Institution when it comes to taking care of your family and their future.
P.S. Our planning for you includes pets as well!
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This material is for general information and educational purposes only. Information is based on data gathered from what we believe are reliable sources. It is not guaranteed as to accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions.