What is a Will?

December 17, 2020

A Will is a written document that sets out who receives your personal assets upon your passing. A will is a formal document and you need to sign it a specific way to be valid.  Unlike most documents, which do not need to be witnessed, you need to have 2 independent witness who observe you sign it to be valid.

It may surprise you to learn that most wills do not contain a long list of items you own and who should receive them. A modern will typically bequeaths assets in shares. For example: I leave everything I own to my children, Bob Smith and Sandy Jones, in equal shares. This usually makes it easier for you to draft your will.  Ultimately, this makes is much easier to distribute your estate for your executor too. It gives your beneficiaries more flexibility in receiving the assets that are most beneficial to them.

There are several things to consider when you create your will. We can assist you with this process by:

  • determining who has legal claims against your Estate and how to properly deal with them;
  • guiding you in deciding who to appoint as the Personal Representative (Executor) and the Guardian of any minor children;
  • showing you alternatives, such as testamentary or other trusts, to control the ultimate distribution of your Estate; and
  • taking into consideration tax planning and other issues.

You have worked hard to build up your Estate and the ultimate decision as to its distribution should be yours to make, not someone else’s.