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10 tips for drafting your Will!

A Will can seem like a big job. But it’s not as hard you think. Here are 10 tips for drafting your Will!

  1. Ask for expert advice from an estate lawyer. Don’t do it yourself. Your wishes and assets are too important.
  2. Prepare a list of your assets (real estate, investments, personal effects) and liabilities (mortgages and debt).
  3. You should keep your Will with a lawyer or trust company. However, always keep an unsigned copy at home for reference!
  4. Store all of your legal and financial documents in a binder so that your Executor/Trustee can access them easily.
  5. Choose an Executor/Trustee who is mature and capable of conducting business affairs. Also it’s best to choose someone younger than yourself.
  6. When creating your list of beneficiaries, consider distributing your estate in percentages, rather than fixed amounts, in case the value of your estate changes.
  7. If you make a charitable bequest in your Will, you could actually increase the amount of money passed on to your beneficiaries by reducing your tax burden. Meet with an estate planning professional to find a strategy best suited to your needs and goals.
  8. You need two people to sign as witnesses for your Will. They should be younger than you and reside in Canada in case they are called upon to give evidence as to the execution of your Will.
  9. Review your Will every few years. Your family, tax and investment circumstances can all change.
  10. A Will is what you leave behind. Reflect on what you want to be remembered for and what kind of legacy you want for future generations.

You’re powerless without a Will! Call Kristy Cutten, Director, Planned Giving, at 416-847-8915 or email simcoecounty@alzheimersociety.ca to request a free Estate Planner and Guide.

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Last Updated: 10/24/16
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