Yesterday, I just came back from a 3 weeks vacation period. It feels very weird to write in the bus again. In fact, it is weird to write period! It’s been 3 weeks that I didn’t write any post (I’m always at least 2 weeks ahead). Now, I only have one post remaining in my draft so I better get to work! I decided to write a few article on estate planning upon the suggestion of Million Dollar Journey. The topic of death is already taboo and preparing its impact on your finance is probably the last thing you want to hear about.
However, ignoring the impact of passing away on your personal finance can have a dramatic result for your spouse, children or other close relatives. Estate planning is one of the 7 fields of financial planning and probably one of the most important.
You need a will
The very first thing to consider in Estate planning is definitely what you want to happen at the moment of your death. The will is a legal document which contains (among other things) the way your assets will be split up.
I don’t need a will; people around me know what do to
They may or may not, in fact, if you pass away without a will, it will not be up to them as your assets will be distributed according to the government where you lived. For example, in
This means that if you live for the same person for 20 years, have kids but are not married and you pass away having the house under your name only (even though you have been splitting payments for all those years); your children will receive everything and your spouse will be left with a big “sorry”. I am not sure this is what you want for the love of your life.
Wills that are not valid:
There are several reasons why a will could be disputed in court. When money is involves, trust me that most people make sure they get what they think they deserve. This is why it is important to make sure that your will is valid. Here are a few examples when a will is not valid:
– When it’s written with the help of technology (on a computer for example).
– When you have less than 2 witnesses (for “will kit”) or if the witness are on the will.
– When there is a more recent version of your will. The latest version prevails over all the other will.
– When you are not mentally able to write or sign a will, if you have been influenced or forced to do so by a third party (duh!).
In my next post on Estate planning, I will outline the advantages and disadvantages of those three ways.
Common ways to write a will
There are 3 ways to write your will:
#1 Write your own by hand.
#2 Buy a “will kit” at a library and have it witness by two people that are not on the will.
#3 Have a lawyer/notary (depending on where you live) writing it for you.
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