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What's in a Will?

A professionally drafted Will is generally comprised of several parts:

1) Identifies the person making it: Let your lawyer know if people commonly address you by another name than the name of your birth certificate as both names will be inserted in order to properly identify you and to avoid problems for your beneficiaries

2) Your Will should revoke any prior Wills or Codicils previously made. There can be exceptions so it is highly advisable to consult with a lawyer

3) Appointment of primary executor: it is important to appoint a backup in the event your executor or executors are unable to look after your estate of in the event they die before you. So you should think about one or more alternate executors

4) Instructions for your executor: your executors will need instructions on paying or settling legitimate debts, claims and taxes you owe before any assets can be further distributed to your beneficiaries under your Will

5) Asset distribution: the Will can distribute personal items, gifts or money or other assets to certain people whom you name to receive such legacies

6) Dispose of residue: the residue consist of what is left over after all the debts and taxes have been paid and all the legacies have been distributed.

7) Powers: the Will should grant powers to your executors to enable them to look after your estate

8) Guardianship: provide for guardianship of your minor children, if applicable

9) Family Law Clause: protects the income generated by your married child's inheritance, in the event that child is involved in a marriage breakdown after your death

Your will should be tailor made to your own particular life situation. Wills are not trivial and can get be complex. Drafting your own homemade Will is a journey fraught with danger as the result may be an invalid Will, and a potential nightmare for your family. Call us today.

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