Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament is a document that expresses your wishes and ensures that they are followed upon your decease. Making a valid Will guarantees that your wishes are recognized under the rules of law. ln order to provide your lawyer with instructions on how to prepare your Will, you will need to consider the following:
- Who will be your executor? – Who can you trust to administer your estate effectively? Do you want to name an alternative executor in case the first becomes unable or unwilling to act? Do you want them to be able to claim executor fees?
- Who will be your beneficiaries? And what percentage of what asset do you want to gift to them? It’s very important that you have the correct spelling of everyone’s name.
- Are any of your beneficiaries under the age of 18? If the answer is yes, you will need to decide the appropriate age to transfer the asset to them and whether the trustee has the power to encroach on that trust prior to that specified age. For example, a trustee can take money out of the trust on behalf of the beneficiary if it is to be used for educational purposes.
- What do your assets consist of? Are assets left jointly to someone? Do they have a designated beneficiary? This is an important question to think about because joint assets are not considered part of your estate at the time of death, which can have significant tax implications.
- What happens if a beneficiary should predecease you? Or if they were to predecease another beneficiary? Would the asset be transferred to the remaining beneficiaries or to their respective child(ren)?