No one wants to leave their family behind without proper protection and security. Yet, we never know when it’s time to say goodbye to the world. This is where wills and estate planning come in, as they allow you to secure your family’s future, even when you are gone. However, for many people, the process of creating a will or estate plan may seem daunting or overwhelming. That’s why, in this blog post, we’re going to explore the importance of wills and estate planning, and offer some practical tips for getting started.

Why Make a Will?

Making a will is the simplest and most effective way to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after your passing. As mentioned before, if you die without a will or a valid estate plan, your property will be shared according to the law, which may not align with your wishes. A will gives you the opportunity to appoint an executor, who will be responsible for distributing your assets and liabilities as per your directions. You can also name a guardian for your children, and include any specific instructions for their care and well-being.

Drafting a Will

While you can create a will using a do-it-yourself kit, it’s recommended that you get help from a lawyer to ensure that it’s valid and meets legal requirements. A valid will must be in writing, signed by you and witnessed by two adults who aren’t beneficiaries of the will. It’s also important to note that wills are legal documents, and hence, you must ensure that they are clear, concise and accurate. An experienced estate planning lawyer can help you ensure your will meets the requirements and express your intentions correctly.

Estate Planning

An estate plan is a broader concept that includes making a will, as well as other steps you can take to protect your assets and your family’s future. Estate planning involves considering all your financial and non-financial assets, and planning for how they should be managed, protected and distributed. This includes trusts, life insurance, pension benefits and more. A comprehensive estate plan can provide the peace of mind that your family will be taken care of, despite the circumstances.
elderly couple discussing wills and estates

Choosing Your Power of Attorney

Creating a power of attorney (POA) is a vital component of estate planning. In the unfortunate event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated or unable to make decisions, having a POA in place will ensure that someone you trust can make decisions on your behalf. It’s important that you choose your POA wisely, as they will have complete control over your financial and personal affairs. It’s recommended that you speak with your lawyer to understand the different types of POAs and how they can help you safeguard your interests.

Updating Your Estate Plan

Your estate plan should be updated on a regular basis. Life changes such as the birth of a child, death of a loved one, a marriage or divorce, or significant financial gains or losses can result in the need for an update. Updating your estate plan ensures that it remains relevant and accurate according to your current priorities and wishes.
Your family’s future and well-being should never be left to fate. Creating a will and estate plan, no matter how small, can offer immense protection and security for your loved ones. With the help of a professional estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that your intentions are correctly expressed and legally enforceable. Remember, preparing for the worst simply means hoping for the best, and the future of your loved ones is always worth it. We’re here to help.
Thank you for your interest in our law firm. Based in Summerland BC, we have served the South Okanagan since 1990. Specializing in real estate, wills & estate law.
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