WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR ESTATE DOCUMENTS IN ORDER?
Do you have a constant nagging feeling that you should get your will done, but you still haven’t gotten around to doing it? Does getting your estate in order just continue to get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list?
I have met many individuals who constantly tell me that they should get their estate documents drafted; yet typically, since there is no urgency to their situation, it gets pushed aside.
As new parents, we often focus on the celebration of the birth of a new life. As a result, we spend endless hours planning a nursery before our child is born, or figuring out where our child should go for daycare.
We all know, however, that when something unfortunate happens, it can happen so quickly – and it is then that we wish we had taken the time to make those plans.
Although it is more enjoyable to plan the nursery or to find suitable childcare than to think about topics such as death or incapacity, we at Global Equity Law believe it is equally important to plan in advance for those events – especially when minor children are involved.
As a parent, taking the time to put the proper estate documents in place is extremely significant for your children if something happens to you. These documents will determine both who will raise your children and who will handle any funds allotted to them while they are held in trust.
Why Visit a Lawyer
The best way to obtain that peace of mind of knowing your minor children are taken care of, and to ensure that your wishes has been properly conveyed, is to seek the help of a lawyer to prepare your estate. By doing so, not only do you ensure that your wishes are followed, but it also relieves the stress for your family and loved ones during their time of grief. Your family and loved ones can then spend their time focusing on healing from their loss rather than having to spend their time wondering and guessing how to best manage or distribute your assets.
In the event you don’t set out your wishes in a will, you leave it up to the government and the Courts to decide how your estate will be handled and distributed, and who will be the guardians of your children.
Why You Shouldn’t Just Buy a Will Kit
There are plenty of templates and kits available for purchase claiming that you can write your estate documents using their forms. However, you cannot be certain that it meets the legal requirements for wills in Alberta; especially if the websites or the manufacturers of these products are from the United States. Furthermore, even if the kit technically meets the requirements present in Alberta, if you do not fill out the documents properly or fail to abide by the legal requirements in signing the documents, the will could still be considered invalid. If your will isn’t properly drafted it causes additional unnecessary stress for your family and loved ones, and is open to being contested.
Another reason why it is best to consult a lawyer is that not all property that you own forms part of your estate to be distributed in accordance to your will. By consulting with a lawyer about what property is included and what is not, it may affect how you make investments during your lifetime – and how you plan your children’s trusts.
Lastly, a lawyer can confirm whether or not you can exclude certain family members in your will, as well as advise you regarding the rules around your appointment of guardians – especially if they do not live in Alberta. It is important to talk to a lawyer to minimize the risks of a guardian appointment being challenged after your death.
Choose Peace of Mind
In the end, the goal is to give you the peace of mind knowing your estate documents have been correctly drafted, and you have properly appointed personal representatives, trustees and guardians.
At Global Equity Law, we are committed to helping individuals and families throughout the various seasons and transitions of their lives. One of these significant transitions involves becoming a parent. We offer a comprehensive Life and Legacy estate package with additional documents to care for your children. Contact us today to set-up an appointment so we can help you to best protect your family.