Why Do I Need a Will?
It is important to create a Will to be sure that your assets are divided the way that you want them to be after you pass away. Making a clear, up-to-date Will helps to avoid conflict and complications after you are gone, making everything easier on your loved ones as they go through the grieving process.
Why Have a Lawyer Prepare My Will?
It’s certainly true that you can save hundreds of dollars by using an online Will Kit to create a Will. The true value in using a lawyer to prepare your Will is the advice provided by the lawyer during the process, to ensure your Will is going to implement your wishes. Your Will is an extremely important document, and if something goes wrong the cost to resolve the issue can be immense. During your discussions with your lawyer, some options can also be discussed to reduce or eliminate the taxes due when someone passes away. In some cases the potential savings can be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In these cases, using a Will kit to save a few hundred dollars is a false economy, and the Government will receive a windfall on your passing. Also, a lawyer will make sure to discuss issues related to incapacity as part of the process. A Power of Attorney and Representation Agreement are complicated and technical documents. The wording is very important, and many online precedents miss the mark.
Naming an Executor
When choosing an executor for your will, it is important to understand the responsibilities that they will be required to take on. Some Executor responsibilities that don’t immediately come to mind include:
- Dealing with remains of deceased, including cremation, embalming and/or burial;
- Organizing the funeral and memorial service;
- Cleaning and organizing the residence of the deceased, including sorting out clothing and personal possessions;
- Investigating the tax status of the deceased, including reviews of up to 6 years of returns for outstanding or potential audits;
- Filing final tax returns for the deceased, and trust tax returns for their estate;
- Searching for assets of a deceased, including safety deposit boxes, share certificates, and online assets (bitcoin wallets etc.)
Talk to the person you are considering appointing as executor and make sure that they are aware of these responsibilities and are willing and able to take them on. In certain circumstances, it can make sense for you to name a professional executor who can handle these responsibilities when you pass away.
For help preparing or updating your will, trust the experienced, conscientious lawyers at Munro & Crawford.