With winter finally behind us, you might be planning your summer vacations, camping trips and canoe excursions. But there’s one more important thing to prioritize in your busy schedule: writing your will.
It might not seem like a task fitting for the warmer months – after all, who wants to plan for death during the holidays? – but crafting a will is one of the best financial decisions you can make. As you plan your summer fun, pencil in time to write your will.
Here are a few key tips to guide you:
• Choose your executor carefully. The executor is the person who will carry out the instructions outlined in your will. They must be an adult and should be someone you trust. It’s also a good idea to name an executor who is younger and likely to outlive you.
• Take care of your loved ones first. Most of us plan to leave something to those closest to us. But if you don’t name your loved ones in your will and state how much you want them to receive, your estate might not automatically go to the right people.
• Name guardians for your children. If you have children and they are not yet adults, your will should name the person who will be your children’s guardian if you die.
• Name the special causes you want to support. Think about the favourite charities you want to remember with a donation. It could be a health charity, a local animal shelter or a human rights charity like Amnesty International.
• Seek expert help. You might be tempted to write a will on your own, but that decision could end up costing your loved ones more. Seeking expert advice is strongly recommended. Speak to a lawyer specializing in estates. Getting their guidance might not be as expensive as you imagined and will likely pay off in the long term.
Writing a will is a fairly straightforward process and your loved ones will be thankful you took the time. A general information package is available free at amnesty.ca/legacy.