(NC) A will is more than a simple outline of the final distribution of your property and effects. It’s an occasion to plan for the financial support of the people and projects that you have actively supported during your lifetime. It can also be the time to finally help those people and groups you always intended to support, but didn’t have the resources for.
While everyone involved in estate planning agrees with the need to make a will, remember that it is your will, so focus on your own wishes and feelings. A will is an important document, but if it doesn’t express your wishes, it’s not done well. Talk it over, consider the future, make a draft, and think again. Your will is probably one of the most important and personal documents you will ever prepare.
Every person should have a will — make sure it covers at least these seven essential points to avoid difficulties in the future:
- Make sure only one will exists.
Determine who you want as your executor, the person who will carry out your wishes in settling your estate.
Carefully plan for your dependents.
Name a guardian for young children.
Detail specific monies or gifts to friends, relatives or charities.
Consider what people or organizations mean a lot to you for the residue of your estate. One’s church, a charity, or a favourite organization like Amnesty International are often on this list.
Put in writing the details of your funeral arrangements.
Laws about will-making and taxes vary from province to province, and formulating the specific wording necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out may require the help of a lawyer. Experts strongly recommend that you seek legal advice when making out your will.
For a free information package write to Amnesty International, 312 Laurier Avenue East, #316, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 1H9.