Why Canadians Should Have a Will

May 19, 2020 | Published by

The majority of Canadians don’t have a will. 

A poll done by the Angus Reid Institute, an independent research foundation, found that 51% of Canadians have no last will and testament in place. Also, one-third of Canadians have an outdated will. While there is no law requiring Canadians to have a will, there are numerous advantages to having one professionally drafted. At Vancouver Downtown Notary, we can help you prepare your will to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. So, if you’re looking to have your first will written, or would like to update your current will, contact our notary public at 778-819-8553. 

Why should I have a will?

Your will dictates how your possessions and assets⏤called your “estate”⏤will be distributed after you pass away. Even if you don’t have many assets, it’s still recommended to have a will so you can name an executor. Your executor is someone you trust who will make decisions on behalf of your estate after you die. If you don’t have a will, provincial courts will have to name someone to manage your estate. 

Having a will gives you the power to choose how your estate is distributed after your passing and also lets you choose an executor. 

Having a will is a simple way to save your family time and money too. It helps them avoid high legal costs and lets them take advantage of tax-saving strategies. Without a will, the government may make decisions that you wouldn’t necessarily choose, and it may cost more than having your will written by a professional notary public

When should I have a will drafted?

Most Canadians believe that they are too young or don’t have enough assets to worry about having a will. However, there are many circumstances in which having a will is beneficial. For example, if you have children, a will lets you choose who will take care of them. So, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have children?
  • Am I married or in a common-law partnership?
  • Do I have a positive net worth?
  • Do I own property?
  • Are there specific charities or organizations I want to support after I die?
  • Do I have an inheritance, even if it’s in a trust?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider writing a will. 

Dying without a will is called dying “intestate.” This means that you lose the ability to control how your estate is divided, and it is entirely left up to provincial law. If you want the ability to name an executor yourself and decide how your estate is divided, then you should⏤you guessed it⏤have a will. 

I already have a will. Do I need to keep it updated?

In short, yes you should keep your will updated. 

If your circumstances change, it’s necessary to update your will. Reviewing your will often will let you reflect on your current wishes and financial decisions. If you’ve had a significant event happen in your life, for example, inheriting property, getting married or divorced, or you’re dealing with environmental factors (like a pandemic), then reviewing and updating your will can give you some peace of mind. 

Should you get professional advice for drafting a will?

Having a lawyer and notary public, like Morris Notary, draft your will ensures that your estate will be divided as intended. We’ll be able to:

  • Walk you through the process of creating your will
  • Bring up circumstances and considerations you might not have thought about
  • Ensure your will is a legally written document
  • Help you divvy up your estate under extremely complex circumstances
  • Guide you through provincial laws
  • Answer any questions you may have about wills, estates, and executors 

Are you looking to update your current will or have your first will drafted? Call our notary public at 778-819-8553 to get started. Our friendly and professional lawyers will ensure that your wishes will be carried out correctly, should the unthinkable happen.