Do you have one?
I went and met with a lawyer today to discuss the details of my will. It’s a process I know a lot of people put off until later. No one wants to think about their own demise, but at 40, I figured it was about time I got this done. I don’t have a lot of assets to leave to anyone, but I do have some. I also have minor children, who must be taken care of. I have wishes on what should happen to me if/when I die. In reality, everyone over the age of 18 should have a will.
In Ontario, if you don’t have a will, then you will die “intestate” and your estate will be distributed according to Ontario Law. Here’s a great Q&A I found that answers some of the questions about what happens if you don’t have a will and also explains some of the terms associated with a will.
I also had to have the lawyer draw up a Henson Trust. The Henson Trust is also called an ‘absolute discretionary trust’ and it will take care of a disabled child. It basically protects the child’s inheritance, and protects the child’s right to collect disability benefits. If I do not have this trust for Andrew, his share of my estate would go to him and if it’s substantial, his disability benefits would be discontinued. With this trust, the trustees I have appointed will be able to provide money from his fund when he needs it and he’ll still be able to collect any disability benefits from the government, should he need them. I have put this into place for Andrew now because I don’t know what the future will hold for him. If he grows up to be self-sufficent (which is our goal for Andrew), then I will change the provisions of the will.
I am incredibly happy that I did this, it gives me peace of mind. I still have yet to sign the will, but at least the ball is rolling and I should have the will within a few weeks.
So, how about you? Have you made decisions on what should happen to you and your estate after you pass away?