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Protect your legacy with a will

(NC) The topic of will-writing is often fraught with myths and misperceptions. Many of us believe that only the rich, elderly, or people in dangerous lines of work need to worry about having one. In fact, up to half of Canadians die without a will, leaving their legacy unprotected and friends and family with uncertainty about their estate.

This is why legal practitioners recommend that every person should have a will covering these five essential points:

• Determine who you want as your executor — the person who will carry out your wishes in settling your estate.

• Carefully plan for your dependents.

• Name a guardian for young children.

• Detail specific monies or gifts to friends, relatives or charities.

• Put in writing the details of your funeral arrangements.

A will is more than a simple outline for the final distribution of your property and effects. It is an occasion to plan for the financial support of the people and projects who you have actively supported during your lifetime. In addition to family and loved ones, many people also consider organizations in their will. Some common examples include a church, charity, or favourite organization like Amnesty International..

Laws about will-making and taxes vary from province to province and the specific wording to ensure that your wishes are carried out may require the help of a lawyer. Experts strongly recommend that you seek legal advice on this subject.