Why do I need a Will?

• Your Will sets out who will manage your estate (such as money or property) and gives instructions about what to do with your estate after your death. If you do not have a will, you cannot select the executor who will administer your estate, and the person to fill this role will be appointed by the court.

• If you do not have a will, you cannot select the beneficiaries of your estate. Provincial legislation will dictate who will inherit. That does not automatically mean that the government gets all of your estate. But, it could happen, depending on your situation. Additionally, for example, if you have a common law spouse or same-sex partner, he or she will not be considered your spouse for division of your assets.

• If you do not have a will and your children are under 18, the children's shares are paid to the court, to be held until the children attain age 18. The children will take their shares at age 18 whether or not they are mature enough to manage them. Without a will, there is no flexibility to set up trusts for children or to consider any special needs of family members.

• Lastly, a properly written will may result in increased tax savings, not only at the time of your death but also following your death, which would not be available without a will.