I don’t have a will Jun 29, 2010

How many times have you heard someone say that? You may have said it yourself. People who are organized in their professional lives, successful in business, who update their business strategies each year, often haven’t taken the steps necessary to plan for the final distribution of their assets.

I’m involved in a matter currently in which a man died in B.C without a will, and with no immediate relatives. My clients are part of a group of his surviving cousins, who stand to inherit through intestacy. But the complexity that arises when there is no will means the matter has lingered for more than four years.

A proper estate plan is an important element of family life, and having an up-to-date will, that accurately expresses your wishes for the disposition of your assets upon death, is integral to that plan.

Your will can provide a financing mechanism for your children’s education, by creating a trust to direct income earned by your estate for that purpose. More and more, people are using their wills to establish endowments to help fund a favourite activity or charitable cause. The Burlington Community Foundation is an excellent vehicle to carry out that intent.

For some, it may be a reluctance to contemplate their own mortality; for others, it may be simple inertia. But whatever the reason, if you haven’t prepared a will, you’re leaving a gaping hole in your family’s future.