Secrets to Protect Your Family – Avoid These 5 Common Problems in Wills
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1. Make sure your will is current
If your will is not up to date, it can be more expensive to deal with your assets after you’re gone. Changes in your relationships, beneficiaries, or assets normally require will updates.
2. Let people know where to find your will
In Ontario, there is no requirement for wills to be registered. There is no central database where you can search for all wills.
Your family, beneficiaries and executors can waste time and money looking for your will. Your will is the key to unlock access to your financial affairs. Make sure your executor always knows where to find the original.
3. Wills must not contradict other planning documents
Conflicts often lead to bad feelings between relatives. Your family can end up asking a judge to decide who gets the insurance proceeds. Resolve any contradictions when you prepare your will.
4. Don’t make alterations on your will
Your daughter gets divorced. Can you handwrite the changes to her name on your will?
All alterations need to be initialled by you and two witnesses. Any writing on the will may make a court question what you were doing. This will force your family to spend your money on legal and court costs.
5. Make sure you name back-ups
You need a back-up for everyone named in your will. Your first choice may not be available, or they may die before you. Your will should include back-up beneficiaries, executors and guardians for minor children.
Ed Olkovich: Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts Law
For Your Protection:
This information is not financial, legal, tax, medical or psychological advice.
Always consult a professional before taking any action.