November is National Make-a-Will Month: why not do it now!
November is the month when we draw attention to the importance of your will as a key part of your financial security plan. If you don’t have a will – surveys suggest just half of us do – now is the time to get one. If you do, consider if it’s time for an update.
Your will sets out how your assets are to be distributed after death, and names one or more executors (called estate trustees in Ontario; liquidators in Quebec) to wind up your affairs. If you die without a will, provincial law dictates the distribution of your wealth among your relatives without regard to need and with no provision for friends and relatives beyond your immediate family.
If you already have a will, think about when you created it and what may have changed since then. Is your executor still available and willing? Have there been births, deaths or other changes amongst your beneficiaries that need to be addressed? Has the amount or structure of your assets changed? Did you move from one province to another? Estate law is under provincial jurisdiction, so you should have a will that conforms to the laws of the province you currently reside in.
It’s best to rely on professional legal advice to create or update your will to make sure that all “what-ifs” are covered and that your wishes conform to the laws of your province.