Make the transfer of your estate as easy and painless as possible with a will.
Wills give lots of people the willies – but they shouldn’t.
By making a will, you can ensure that your estate will benefit your family, friends and favourite charities. With a will, you name your executor and determine who’ll control your estate after your death.
A will identifies the people – called beneficiaries – that’ll receive your estate and helps to minimize the estate expenses your heirs will have to pay out of your estate. If you die without a will – known as intestate – legislation and the courts will decide your beneficiaries, and how much they get.
Dying without a will or known relatives is an even more troubling scenario. This means, after a certain length of time, your estate will transfer to the government. If you have young children and you die without a will, and there’s no surviving spouse that can act as the parent of your child, it’s up to the courts to appoint a guardian for them.
In many cases, a basic will can avoid all of this. A basic will should suffice if you’re under 50, healthy, and not very wealthy. If your estate’s large, more complicated or you expect estate taxes will be levied, then it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer and an estate planner.