When you pass away without a will, your possessions and wealth are divided along legislative guidelines. These guidelines are fairly generic – which can be problematic since no two families are alike.
In situations when there are blended families, special circumstances, special needs or allowances to be made – it may be hard for surviving family members to allocate your estate to meet any unique situations.
According to an article published on GlobalNews.ca, half of Canadians do not have a will prepared in the event of their passing. The article further outlines some of the specific problems surviving families may face when there is no valid will. One of the major issues is appointing an estate trustee, also known as an executor.
Many individuals assume a will essentially states who gets what property and money from an estate. But there is a lot more to an estate than just property and assets. Taxes, debts, closing accounts, selling assets to divide the profits are just a few of the additional administrative duties.
An example used in the article is credit card debt. Who will be responsible for paying off existing debt on the credit cards? How will he or she access the funds to pay off this debt? That is the role of an estate trustee, and it can take a while to appoint this person if one is not clearly designated in a will.
Legal professionals know that it’s difficult for families to think about drafting a will. An experienced estates lawyer can assist you with thinking about these issues objectively, and help you put your wishes and instructions on how you want your possessions and wealth handled and divided into a clear, customized will.