Posted on: 13 January 2015Share
One of the facts of life is that everyone is going to die. In order to make sure that your last desires are fulfilled and your belongings divided or distributed correctly, it is important to have a last will and testament, also known as a will. In order to make sure that your will covers everything thoroughly and exactly as you wish, consider the following tips.
Things to Include
Depending on your province, there are different things to consider including in your will. Some general, but very important, things to include are:
- Who will be the responsible guardians of your children, if you have them
- How you want your property divided among your beneficiaries
- Who is the executor of your will
- Specific pieces of property you wish to go to a certain individual, such as family jewelry and other sentimental items (even if they have no financial value)
Many lawyers advise against drafting a joint will with a spouse because it is very unlikely that you will both die at the same time. In order to cover your bases, make sure you specify what to do if your spouse is living and if they are not. This will prevent you from having to completely rewrite your will if your spouse dies before you.
Making it Official
It is important to have witnesses sign your will to testify that they saw that you were the author of it. Choose witnesses that are not benefiting by receiving items or money in your will because it raises questions to the validity of the document and who actually wrote it. It is important that the will is written while not under duress or pressure from parties in the will, so not having them around during the writing process is wise.
Another thing to remember is that you need to have the document notarized. A notary is a person who will stamp and sign a legal document in order to verify it was written by the person specified. They verify that you wrote the document and that they saw and verified your identity. Having a notary sign this means no one forged this document to benefit themselves.
Keep it Safe
After you have finished your will, it is important to keep the copies limited. Copying and delivering this to too many places often results in multiple editions of the will if you make any changes, raising questions on what are your actual final wishes. Do have a copy in a safety deposit box, clearly labeled in your home somewhere, and even with a lawyer's office if you ask for their help in drafting your will. This way if you die, your will is easy to find.
For more advice on drafting your will and getting it notarized, contact a firm such as Integra Law Group.