Wills: The Twelve questions to ask yourself.
The person making a Will is called a "Testator”– the Will outlines the testator's instructions for:
- Choice of executor, the trustee of the estate, who will settle the deceased's financial affairs; and
- How the assets that flow into the estate are to be distributed
To get a good idea of whether your will is in good standing, answer the following questions:
- Was the Will prepared or reviewed by a lawyer?
- Does it meet the family obligations of the client?
- Is the executor appropriate – i.e. – still alive, will outlive all trusts, in province or country?
- Is there a back up executor?
- Should there be a corporate executor?
- How long ago was the Will prepared?
- Have there been changes to your circumstances since the Will was prepared?
- Do you want to make changes especially in distribution to beneficiaries?
- Was the Will prepared in the province where you reside?
- Have you asked the executor and any guardians and trustees if they are willing and able to do the job?
- Does the distribution of property in the Will complement or contradict the distribution of property passing outside the Will – i.e. property passing outside the estate by joint survivorship, beneficiary designation or other trusts?
- Do you understand all the implications of the Will?
You should review your Will on a regular basis. If you do not have a Will or have not reviewed your existing Will in some time, please contact us and we will be happy to recommend an estate planning lawyer who can help structure your Will to meet your needs.