What Are the Components of a Canadian Will?
Most people assume that writing a Will is for the elderly, but this could not be more misleading. We recommend writing a Will as soon as you are an adult because you never know when you are going to need it. Creating a Will is fairly straightforward and can ease a lot of stress off your family.
A Canadian Will have a few important components to understand. Once you have a clear understanding of these components, Will writing becomes much more manageable. But what exactly are these components?
Naming your executor is usually the first step of Will planning. Your executor will carry out the tasks defined in your Will. Therefore, you will need to choose someone responsible to manage your estate once you have passed. This role should be given to a trusted friend, family member, or legal professional.
The executor has many responsibilities, so it is important to choose wisely. They will need to make sure they have your most recent Will and depending on the province, they may need to obtain probate. During this process, the executor will help with planning the funeral, valuing assets, settling debts, and communicating with beneficiaries.
Guardians for Dependents
If you have children under majority age (19 in BC) you will need to find someone who can take care of them if you pass. This is the most important part to include in a Will. Without defining this, your orphan children may be forced into foster care, until someone applies to court to be granted guardianship over them.
If no guardian is defined, a family member can still obtain a court order and become the legal guardian of your child. However, this is a complex process, and the court judge ultimately decides who gets to take care of them.
Listing your beneficiaries is an important part of creating a Will. You can start by thinking about who gets to keep your properties, money, and other assets, then write them down. The people who will receive them are called “beneficiaries,” and they will only have access to your possessions when you are gone.
Planning a Will can be challenging and emotional. That is why it is always encouraged to work with an expert. A professional notary team can help you plan for the worst and create a Will that will make things easier when you pass.
At Zancope Notary Public, our specialty is Wills and Estate Planning documents (Representation Agreement and Power of Attorney). We are a full-service firm with two notaries full time at the office. We also offer real estate services for clients in Langley and throughout Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. We can help you with buying, selling, and refinancing real estate, and provide family property transfers and independent legal advice.
If you have any questions about this article or notarial services, in general, or if you want to make an appointment with Zancope Notary Public, please contact us at (604) 260-6783.