Here’s Why You Don’t Want Any Wills That the Government Writes for You
If you die without a will, your provincial government writes one for you. Fat chance they know what your family needs or that they will help you save taxes. Intestate estates, where people die without wills, have more problems. Estates without wills are costlier to handle and take longer to finish. The government wins and everyone loses.
If you die without making your will, you become the villain in your life story. The government rules decide how much your partner, children, grandchildren or stepchildren receive. This could be nothing depending on the laws where you live. If you fail to leave your instructions in a will, you can’t decide these things yourself.
You can’t afford not to make your will. People you care about can’t afford it either. Wills determine who, where and how your assets are distributed. Wills absolutely save time and money, in small or large estates.
You Can Get All These Extra Advantages When You Write Your Own Will
When you make your will, you benefit by deciding how:
1. your estate is managed
2. your money is divided
3. your minor children are cared for
4. you save income and probate taxes
5. you avoid wasting thousands in legal costs
6. your spouse receives what is needed
7. you can prevent family disputes
8. you protect children with special needs
9. your favourite charities benefit
10. you leave your legacy
Expect Your Probate Problems to Double if You Don’t Have a Legal Will
What is probate? We all have heard horror stories about probate.
Probate courts handle estate matters. Courts decide if wills are valid and:
• Who is in charge of your estate
• Who pays your bills
• Who gets what’s left and when
You can’t escape probate nightmares by not making your will.
Financial institutions freeze your stuff when you die. They need probate courts to tell them who to give your money to. Courts issue probate papers to sell real estate and release your money. Judges get to decide who’s in charge if you have no will.
Good luck if you have no will to express your wishes. Your loved ones will never understand why you did not take the time to provide for them.
What If You Have No Will?
You guessed it. You don’t have any executors. No person can legally represent you. No one is designated to handle your estate. That happens when you die without wills or intestate.
When you have no will, there are usually competing claims to your money.
Judges must choose among your relatives to put someone in charge. Hopefully, they live in Ontario. Your loved ones need to hire lawyers. Your estate usually pays for all extra costs.
What if you die without a spouse or children? Your brothers and sisters can apply to act as your estate representatives. They hire lawyers at your expense. They ask judges to decide who controls what’s left of your money.
Until judges decide, your estate assets are still frozen. Your stock portfolio or your empty home can’t be sold. Your money can’t be accessed to support loved ones. No bills can be paid. Judges must first appoint someone to handle your estate. Who supports your family while this is going on?
Not Making Your Will Means the Government Rules Decide Everything
Intestate estates have no legal representative to handle your money. Don’t worry. The government is here to help you. Its rules decide how your money is divided if you have no will. Intestacy always creates increased costs, competing claims and family conflict.
Government intestate rules are rigid. They don’t consider your preferences. Your wishes won’t count when it comes to your life savings. The same government rules apply whether that’s fair or not. Money may not go where you want or where it is needed. Relatives who you haven’t seen in years can inherit your money.
Intestate Means You Died Without a Will
Privacy laws prevent banks and others from sharing your information. Even cancelling your cable is difficult without an executor. And who takes care of your children or your retriever, Scout?
Everyone must wait until judges appoint your estate administrators and guardian for minors. This can take months and is expensive. These processes require everyone to receive court notices. In the meantime, your money and investments are frozen.
Walter made a mistake not making his will. He believed Maria, his spouse, automatically inherited everything when he died. Read about Walter’s mistake in my next post.
If you fail to write your will, you lose the best chance to protect your money and family.
Need help making your will? Contact me to make an appointment.Posted In: Estates, Wills On: July 26th, 2018