April 11, 2016 - 7:30 AM
VICTORIA - Make a Will Week 2016 is a reminder that it is easier than you think to provide for the people, charities and organizations you care about. There are a many reasons to make a will, and now it's easier than ever to do so.
To encourage British Columbians to make a will or update an existing one, the Province has proclaimed April 10 to 16 as Make a Will Week. Only a will can make sure your final wishes are clear and will be carried out. A poster created for the week highlights the many reasons to make a will - from ensuring children are provided for to deciding who gets possession of your prized comic book collection or china set.
This week is also a reminder to update an existing will if there are significant changes to your life, finances, health or family situation.
If you die without a will, your estate will be divided according to legislation and may not be distributed in the way you would have wished. Decisions will be made by someone appointed by the court, rather than someone you choose and who knows you. Your voice will be missing at a time when it is needed.
A provincewide telephone poll by the Society of Notaries Public of B.C. found that 45% of B.C. adults do not have a current and legal will. For those in the 18 to 34 age bracket, 80% do not have a current and legal will.
Learn More: http://www.gov.bc.ca/makeawill
When is it appropriate to create or revise a will:
* The birth of a child
* A death in the family
* A change in family financial circumstances
* Marriage or divorce
* Purchase of major assets, such as real estate or property
* Becoming an owner of a business - or selling a business
* Before major surgery
* Embarking on travel
What to consider when creating a will:
* Choose an executor who will carry out your final wishes. Make sure they know the location of your will and where you keep other important documents.
* Arrange for your assets to be distributed to all your beneficiaries in a way that will maximize tax benefits.
* Clearly outline what you want for your funeral arrangements.
* Consider donating money to a charity or other organizations.
* If you have pets, you may want to consider how they will be cared for.
* Appoint someone to be the guardian of your minor children in case you die while they are still under the age of 18.
* Decide how to divide your assets among those you love. If children are involved, include at what age you want them to receive money and who should be the trustee of the money until your children reach that age.
* Think about a backup plan in case the people you list in your will die before you do.
Who to contact to make a will:
* Getting assistance from a professional, such as a lawyer or a notary, is always a good idea. If your situation is straightforward, you may be able to write your own.
Links to investigate:
* CBABC http://www.cbabc.org/Home
* BC Notaries http://www.notaries.bc.ca/home/index.rails
* Wills Resource http://www.courthouselibrary.ca/training/HowToGuides/wills-resources
* Self-Counsel Press http://www.self-counsel.com/
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016