Canada
Canada's #1 provider of online Wills, Power of Attorney & Living Wills.
Thousands of legal documents every week.  Over 14 years in business.
April 18, 2014  
BBB Rating: A+
LegalWills.ca is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review.
Follow us on
Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Read our blog
100% Money Back Guarantee
30 Day, No Questions Asked
Money Back Guarantee
This is a secure site
News
What makes LegalWills.ca the best?
Back to News Headlines Back to News Headlines

Wills Protect Children's Interests

By NEALE S. GODFREY
October 31, 2005

Your will may be the most important document you ever create for your children.

Not only does a will determine what happens to your financial assets, it outlines how you wish your children to be cared for until they're old enough to be on their own.

In some states, children become wards of the court if their parents die without a will. And more than half of American adults don't have a will, according to legal resource Martindale-Hubbell.

If you don't have a will, write your wishes down immediately. Sign and date your will, have it notarized, put it in a safe place and give copies to a trusted relative or friend. There are books and Web sites where you can get information on how to write a will.

You can reduce your legal fees if you know the answers to a few simple questions:

  • Who will be the executor, the person who sees that your interests are carried out? You should pick someone you trust: a friend, family member or lawyer.
  • Consider introducing your children to the executor so if something happens to you, they will already have met the person who will outline their future.
  • Who will get custody of your children if you die?
  • How will the children be provided for financially? Check to see if your assets and insurance policies are sufficient for the rearing and education of your children. There may be things that you haven't thought of; is your chosen guardian's house big enough to accommodate them? If not, you may wish to provide money to help solve this problem.
  • How are your assets to be divided? Do you want the children to receive their inheritance when they reach maturity or do you want to space the payments out?

Reassure your children that they'll be taken care of if anything happens to you and your spouse. They already understand that you carefully choose who will look after them when you are not there after school or out for the evening. Explain that a will is just an extension of that kind of planning.

Even children as young as 4 may have wondered about this. From the time they are quite small, children hear terrible stories about what happens to boys and girls without parents. Think of Cinderella, Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket's Baudelaire orphans.

With grade school and teenage children, you can go into more detail about the will and perhaps even tell them where it is located. Children under 7 are probably too young to listen to detailed explanations of wills. They may need to be reassured that the will probably won't be used until they are grown up.

It should be reassuring to both you and your children to know a plan is in place. Make sure they are comfortable with the choice of guardian, that they understand where they'll sleep, whether they will still have their pets and what school they will attend.

Once you have a will, be sure to review and update it periodically. You'll know it's time to dig it out of your safety deposit box:

• If you haven't looked at it in five years.

• If life circumstances change; the birth of a child, a divorce, a death in the family or if your financial profile changes.

• When estate tax laws change.

• When you move to another state, since laws vary from state to state.

• When you buy property in a different state, since it may be subject to different laws.

Neale S. Godfrey is a former bank president and expert on family finance.


(Note that you can create your Will, Power of Attorney and Living Will online at http://www.legalwills.ca/)


For More Information Contact:

LegalWills.ca
Email: support@legalwills.ca
Internet: http://www.legalwills.ca/