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What About Wills,Why Do I Need One?

People often put off the responsibility of writing a new will or updating an existing will. I want to give a brief overview of what this subject is about.

Wills basically identify how your assetts are distributed, how your debts are to be repaid, any special bequests and the guardianship of minor children. Dying without a will is known as dying "intestate".

Contrary to popular belief, the government does not get everything if you die without a will. Each Province has pre established rules as to how estates are distributed if you die with out a will. As well, the appointment of guardians with out a will is taken care of by the courts and must be court approved. A surviving "fit" parent would automatically have custody of minor children.

Jointly owned property would go to a survivor and always passes outside of a will.

Domicile vs residency determines under which juristiction you would fall if you die without a will. Let me explain. You are working in the oil sands in Alberta and live in Alberta. You however call Ontario home and for all intent and purpose, Ontario is your home. You are deemed to be "domiciled" in Ontario and if you died in Alberta, Ontario intestacy laws would prevail.

You can hand write a will, date it and sign it and it would be valid. A lawyer usually will write a simple or very complex will. Some people have made video wiils, but I have no personal knowledge of them being contested or probated.

If you are reading this and don't have a will, take a few minutes and write one out. Tomorrow make an appointment at a lawyer's and get one done. It is just so much easier for the survivors.

If you want more exact details about your area just Google "dying without a will in ..." and you will get all the info you need.

JK