In the last article, we introduced some of the terms common in estate planning, namely What is a Will? An estate? An Executor? Probate? A beneficiary?
The next important question is: Do I need a Will?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
A Will establishes what you want to happen to your “stuff” when you pass away. If you don’t have any “stuff”, then you probably don’t need a will. Or if your “stuff” is owned jointly with someone else, such as a spouse, partner, or child, then you don’t need a will because the joint owner who survives longest becomes the sole owner.
But if you have “stuff” in your name alone, such as a bank account, a house, a credit card, investments, a car, or personal belongings, then you need to have a Will that says who is to become your trustee or executor. The trustee legally has the authority to deal with your belongings and debt, the responsibility to pay off any outstanding debt or bill payments, file your tax returns, and generally fulfill the responsibilities that were yours. The trustee then will distribute what is left to the person or persons you name as your beneficiaries or heirs.
If someone is dependent on you such as a spouse or child, you have an obligation to provide for them in your will. If you leave them out altogether or do not provide adequately, they can contest the will.
Speaking of dependents, if you have children who are dependent on you, it is imperative that you name a guardian for your children in your will. The guardian would only be called on if there is no other surviving parent. But if the tragedy occurred where both parents passed away, the choice of guardian will affect your children for a lifetime.
We hope you will find this information valuable and will increase your financial confidence. You can always find these articles on our website www.actionfinancialgroup.com. Next time we will see what happens if you don’t have a will.
Karin Rimnyak, Certified Financial Planner®
David Dryburgh, Certified Financial Planner®
Ian Barrie, Certified Financial Planner®
This information has been prepared by Karin Rimnyak who is an investment Advisor for iA Private Wealth. Opinions expressed in this email are those of the Investment Advisor only and do not necessarily reflect those of iA Private Wealth. iA private Wealth Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. iA Private Wealth is a trademark and business name under which iA Private Wealth Inc. operates.