People often question whether they need a will. They may be single or just starting as a married couple and have few assets. Every person needs this document regardless of the number of assets they have.
Parents, in particular, need the will to ensure the person they select becomes the guardian of their children if the parents pass before the children reach adulthood. A will does not dictate where all assets go, however. As this confuses many individuals, it is best to work with a Kanata Ontario Law Firm to craft this document and ensure everything is handled as a person wishes when they pass away.
Special Items to Consider
Retirement accounts should typically be handled outside the will to avoid adverse tax consequences. When a person wants to leave an asset to someone, they may say when the recipient will receive the inheritance. This information can be included in the will. If the inheritance will go to a child, the parent needs to set up a trust to handle the money and name a trustee to oversee it. This ensures the court does not control the funds, as the court will be extremely cautious in distributing them.
Guardianship of Minor Children
Every parent needs a will when their children are minors. While parents hope to live long enough to see their children with families of their own, they may not do so. Parents need the will to say who will raise their children if the parent passes away at a young age. This decision is one the parents should not make quickly. Once a decision has been made regarding guardianship, the parents should speak with the person they wish to name the guardian to ensure this individual is willing to accept the responsibility.
Estate and Administration Taxes
Estate and administration taxes can significantly reduce the amount a person has to pass on following their demise. Most estates today are not subject to estate taxes. For those that are, consulting with an estate lawyer can ensure the funds end up where the person intended and estate taxes will be kept to a minimum.
People often assume a will must be complicated, but that is not the case. What is important when it comes time to create this document is clarity. The person who has been asked to carry out the wishes of the deceased individual must understand exactly what they wanted when they wrote the document. Any confusion can lead to a long court battle and disagreements between heirs. An experienced lawyer crafts the document to ensure this does not happen.
In addition, a person needs to review and update their will regularly. Any life event should lead to a review of this document. However, it is best to have a lawyer go over the document annually to ensure new tax laws won’t affect anything in the will. The lawyer will determine if changes need to be made and review them with the client. Visit a lawyer today to craft or review a will. This is one appointment no person can afford to put off.