“Practice Safe Self”: 5 events in life to get your Will and Estates done

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It's obvious that getting your Will and Estate planning in order is not the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon. But just like our taxes, we power through. There are two things in life that are certain, taxes, and an eventually reading of a Will. Grim as this topic may be, completing/updating your Will should not be left undone until the latter half of one's life. Here are 5 life events that should prompt you to get your will and estates done and why.

1. Getting Married

Wills and Estate planning is the last thing on your mind when picking out flower arrangements or trying to decide between Eggshell or Dutch White curtains for the big day. However, marriage has an impact on how your estate is handled and how it could be distributed, if there is no well. It is time to make a new Will. Add it to the long list of “To-Dos” before you tie the knot.

2. Buying a New Home

A new home, means starting a new life. Purchasing a new property represents a change in the value of your assets and may prompt a review of how you want these assets dealt with in your will. If you wish to consider leaving your new home to a specific person, or to have it dealt with in a specific manner, make sure you update your will to accurately reflect your intentions.

3. Having Children

A common concern for young couple across the board is “What happens to my children when I’m gone?” There are many considerations dealing with your children that can be captured in your will, including: appointment of a guardian, how your minor children are cared for financially, and how your children receive their inheritance (e.g. through a trust or dividing certain assets between certain children). The last thing you would want for your children is to worry and dispute over your estate so ensure your will clearly deals with these issues.  

4. Starting a Business

A good business owner has to cover all grounds regarding risk of the business. An updated Will will assist in minimizing the risk and ensuring the business continues to thrive in the long run. In your will, you will be able to determine how your business carries on.

5. It’s just been too long  

As a rule of thumb, it is advised that you visit your will and estates files at least once every five years and in the event of any major change in your life that could have an impact on the contents of your will, how your estate is distributed or who has been appointed your Personal Representative. Changes to wills must also be executed in a specific fashion to ensure there are no doubts as to validity.