“They Kept Meaning to Get That Done…”
What Actually Happens When Parents Die Without a Will
By Chelsea Thoms – Global Equity Law
I remember after I had my first child, over three years ago, I had so many intense emotions as I sat in my hospital bed holding my newborn son. Having just experienced a very traumatic and life-threatening birth, I was very aware all of a sudden of the reality that terrible, unexpected things can happen when you least expect it.
I realized that day, I now had a little one to care for and protect – which meant I needed to both protect him in the day-to-day reality of life, as well as to protect him for the future should any unforeseen circumstances ever arise.
What Happens When There is No Will
Parents often do not realize what happens if they have minor children and they die without a will.
If parents die without a will, if their will is not properly drafted, or if it is missing a guardianship clause, a court will be the one to decide who will care for their minor children.
If this happens, potential guardians will be located and screened to determine who is the best option to be appointed to care for the children. The courts won’t necessarily know that you wanted your children to be raised a certain way, or that you and your one sibling don’t even get along. The court will take into account the information that is presented to them, and ultimately they will make the choice based on limited evidence of who they believe should raise the children. And it is quite likely that it would not be the individual that you would have chosen.
What is just as bad, is that during the time period after parents have passed away or cannot be located, and before the court has made its decision as to guardianship for the child, the children will quite likely be in the care of the province, which means that while they are grieving the loss of their parents, they would be in temporary foster care.
Choosing a Guardian
I often meet parents who say that they just cannot decide on which individual to appoint to care for their children. After all, no one is going to raise them like they would, and I completely agree. However, if something terrible happens, your kids will be much better off if you consider all of the options and make the best decision you can as to who would best raise them if you are not able to.
We cannot control everything that happens, but we can do our best to take the precautions needed to protect the ones we love. And in the case of our children, it is always worth taking the time to ensure that no matter what happens, they will be safe, cared for, and loved.
That Was Easy
If you need a will drafted to protect your family, we would love to help you. We often hear clients tell us that they put off getting their wills done for years, but once they come in they realize that it was not nearly as difficult, expensive or time-consuming as they expected, and that they are so happy and relieved to have it done.
Give us a call at (403) 926-9620 to set-up your free consultation today.