Planning out your Will is not exactly a fun and exciting task. It is, however, a very important part of being a responsible parent. The team at Dad Things was interested in learning more about Wills and why it's recommended that all parents have one regardless of their health. Our team reached out to CBM Lawyers for some helpful insight regarding the importance of Wills and the processes behind them. There are many important reasons to have a Will, but nothing is more important than the safety and upbringing of your children.
Why is it Important to Have a Will?
The number one reason to get a Will, as a parent, is for the benefit of your children. By creating a Will, you can name the chosen legal guardian of your children - this is especially important if they are under 19 years of age. Unfortunately, if you do not name a legal guardian in a Will, any person in your family can apply to become the guardian of your kids. This situation could be problematic, specifically if there are any individuals that you would not want to raise your children. Having a Will prevents anyone besides the legally named guardian to raise your children in the tragic but unlikely event that you are unable to do so yourself.
What Happens if I Don't Have a Will?
The main complication that arises from not having a Will is that your estate passes through intestate. In BC, there is a specific set of laws that outline who gets what through intestate. This process, in many cases, leads to someone that you would not have chosen getting first dibs on your property or guardianship of your children. Without a Will, the reality is that your assets could end up going to several parties. Having a Will gives you some control over these processes and protects your children.
How do you Decide Who Gets The Kids?
Deciding who gets custody of your children in the tragic event that both you and your spouse pass away is a very personal decision. The choices you make for your Will are private and will not be seen until after you're gone. You should notify the individual selected for the role of Guardian, but otherwise, you do not have to share this decision with outside parties. Keeping your Will private will prevent any hurt feelings and help avoid disclosing personal choices. At the end of the day, it's your choice of who is the best fit to get custody of your children, and/or estate.
What about online Wills?
BC has strict rules and laws when it comes to the validity of Wills. A Will has to meet specific standards and specifications to become valid, which is why you are best to complete the process with a professional, such as a lawyer. Unfortunately with online Wills, you will not know if your Will is valid until after you're gone. This leaves the individual you named to deal with an invalid Will, while also having to deal with the grief of losing you. That is a very, very difficult position to be in and can compromise the guardianship of your children.
What are The Costs?
When it comes to creating a Will, there are a few different price structures that you can choose from. The pricing structure depends on whether you are an individual parent or a couple, as this can affect the number of documents required. When creating the Will, many people often consider getting their Power of Attorney Representation Agreement done at the same time. By choosing to complete this document in addition to your Will, you will be paying for six documents in total - or three per person if you are a single parent. This package is the most expensive option offered at CBM, with a total price of approximately twelve hundred dollars. This fee may seem large at the time, but by choosing to pay now, you are avoiding the possibility of creating countless legal fees down the road. If you are to pass away without a Will, those closest to are left to pay the price of legal fees and take care of your estate. When purchasing a Will, you are not just buying a legal agreement - you are buying peace of mind.
How Long Does it Take?
Contrary to common belief, the process of creating a Will is surprisingly quick. The average Will appointment takes place within an hour, leaving you plenty of time to go about the rest of your day. A 30-60 minute appointment is a small price to pay for peace of mind when it comes to children and estate. In the unfortunate instance that the unthinkable happens, you will rest easy knowing that your family is in the best position legally.