Make a Will Month

November is “Make-A-Will” Month in Ontario, Canada. In truth, every month should be “make a will” month, everywhere.

November is “Make-A-Will” Month in Ontario, Canada. In truth, every month should be “make a will” month, everywhere. These days more and more people are putting off or avoiding drafting a will altogether. However, wills are really important tools most adults need to ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes.

Many individuals think, why do I need a will? Why does it matter what happens to my belongings once I’m gone? What people don’t consider is that life can be unpredictable and estate planning tools like wills protect not just our things but the people we care about. Wills don’t just designate who will receive our assets but also name guardians to care for our underage children. In fact, writing a will can be one of the most selfless acts a person can perform for their loved ones.

While anyone with assets and/or young children should have a will, there are certain situations that should prompt individuals to have a will drawn up. Are you a newlywed? Did you just have a baby? Do you own property or have investments or precious family heirlooms? Do you own a business? Perhaps you have a charity that is near and dear to your heart and you would like to leave them a gift at the time of your passing. Drafting a will gives you the ability to maintain control over so many important decisions.

Moreover, it’s a common misconception that making a will has to be difficult. While writing a will does require taking stock of one’s assets and relationships and making some serious decisions, a skilled professional should be able to walk you through the process fairly painlessly.

It’s also important to remember that making a will is not necessarily a one-time thing. As the circumstances of our lives change, we may need to pay our estate attorney a visit to add a codicil (a legal modification to a will) or maybe even to draft a new, updated will in place of the old one. When is it wise to draft a new will? A new will is advisable after a divorce, the dissolving of a business, the birth of new heirs or especially when old relationships change. For example, if you have a falling out with an old friend or a family member, you may not want them to be the executor of your estate or to inherit your prized possessions.

While in recent years fewer and fewer people have been availing themselves of estate planning tools like wills, the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic has greatly increased the sense of uncertainty we all face. It has been a reminder to all of us that we should have a will prepared. The lesson for all of us is that we should not wait for a serious health crisis to take stock of our personal affairs. Protect yourself and the ones you love. Make your will today!

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