I grew up knowing a Will was meant for the dying, elderly or ailing individual stuck in the ICU or some nursing home ready to give up the ghost. But as the years progresses, my mentality and way of thinking changed for the better – keeping in mind that having a Will doesn’t necessarily mean you are dying, but it means you want your Estate, family and your belongings to be better cared for by the people designated by you. Moreso, a Will is not just for the elderly, but for anyone of any age with a child/children or without wanting to ensure their wishes are kept and delivered as instructed. It gives a sense of assurance and peace of mind to know that your most priceless possessions – your family is being taken care of by the people you have come to know, love and trust rather than the outside world. “In simple terms, a Will is a legal document that dictates how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. It’s a fluid document because it has no effect until you die— you can change it whenever you want. To be valid, however, the document must comply with several requirements under state law— the number of witnesses, whether it must be typed or handwritten, and others— all of which are fairly standard state to state and very easy to satisfy.” Library.Wilmingtontrust.com.
The significance of a Will cannot be overemphasize especially for parents with kid(s), couples and individuals with a message to convey, how they like to be remembered and treated when the curtain of their life closes. In the event of a sudden death of both parents whose kid/kids are minors, they become the ward of the State in which they reside. Meaning that, the State in which the parents resided at the time of their death would have full guardianship of the children – the children are either placed in a foster home or group homes which has been defined by many as a horrible experience for most children. No family member of yours would be allowed to take responsibility of your children simply because you fail to put it in writing. If there is any living relative, they can try to contest it by appealing with the courts through a guardianship process, which will need to be approved before any changes can take effect. This process can take years without any positive outcome – which can lead to exhaustion and frustration. And there is no guarantee that the courts would comply.
Making a smart and wise decision for your family and loved ones while you are alive doesn’t mean you are dying anytime soon neither does it mean you are old. It simply means you are in control of your belongings, assets, and your decisions. Most people seems to worry about the cost without even inquiring about the process, information and ways of making it cost-effective. If you plan on dealing with a life insurance agent/banks or lawyers, yes it might be costly.
There are three (3) types of Wills:
- Formal Wills are generally written by lawyers. The Will must be signed and must have two witnesses to be valid.
- Holographic Wills is made entirely in the handwriting of the testator and signed by him/her. No witnesses are required because they are informal
- Soldiers’ or Mariners’ Wills is for Soldiers’ or Mariners’ or members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
You can also visit your local motor vehicle registration or department of motor vehicle in which you reside and they can provide you with:-
A Guide to the Law pertaining to Wills in the area in which you reside.
Also, visit your local staple store and purchase a pre-printed package ranges from $20 to $60 – fill out the information, and have it sign by three witnesses with or without a notary stamp.
Another option to make your wishes known is by typing or handwritten in your own words with specific instructions as to how you want your Estate to be run. Is that simple!