When people think about wills, they often think only about the future of their spouse and children, but for those without a family a will is still an incredibly important document. Here are some things to consider if you do not have a will and are without kids and a spouse.
It isn’t Just for After You Die
A will and testament is a legal document that outlines your wishes in the event of your death but also in the event of your being unable to make certain decisions. This could be the result of an accident, a medical issue or something else, but people are rendered unable to make decisions for themselves every day. When that happens, their will, listing important things like power of attorney and control over your estate, falls to someone else. If you do not have that lined out, then it will be up to the province to decide these things for you, which means your wishes may not be honoured.
You Will Have No Say in Your Funeral
Depending on your beliefs, how you are laid to rest is extremely important. It may just be personally important that you are buried or cremated but without a will, those wishes will be left up to the government. Having no will, no spouse, and no children means your entire funeral will be left to a governmental body that has no idea what you wanted, and no legal framework with which to understand what your wishes may have been.
There is a common misconception that the Government takes the entirety of an estate if there is no will in place. While this isn’t true, they do charge a fee for handling estates, which means your money will be going to the government to do something that you should have done, and could have done much better.
Almost half of the Canadian population does not have a will, and that number is higher for people who are unwed and without children. Passing “something down to your kids” and “making sure your spouse is comfortable” are not the only reasons to have a will. In fact, there are many important reasons why everyone, regardless of their life, should have a will that outlines their wishes once they are gone. If you do not have a will, it is important that you work with experienced legal experts to ensure that your wishes are documented and carried out once you are gone. Without a legal will however, those wishes could be ignored and the things that are important to you could end up in the hands of someone who did not know you. So instead of leaving your wishes to chance, get a will that outlines your wishes and who you would like to have make those wishes a reality.