A Will is useful in order to maintain control over the distribution of your assets and the management of your affairs after you pass away.
When you die, if you do not leave a valid Will, or if your will does not dispose of all of your assets, then the Provincial Legislation governing Intestate Succession will apply. This may not be what you want because you will have no choice in how your assets are distributed or how your affairs are otherwise managed.
Without a valid Will containing instructions for your estate, your assets will be distributed according to a universal formula. Without a valid Will, your assets will be distributed in the following order of priority: your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your parents, your siblings, your nieces and nephews, and so on. Furthermore, if you have no surviving next of kin when you pass away, all of your assets become the property of the government.
In addition, without a will, you cannot divide your assets according to preference; for example, you cannot give some money to your kids, some to your niece, and some to charity because this distribution does not follow the formula.
Other Good Reasons to Have a Will
In addition to losing control over the distribution of your assets, there are other issues that could be solved by having a Will. One very important issue is guardianship of your children. If you do not leave a Will appointing someone to raise your children should something happen to you, the government will step in and choose for you. While the guardian appointed may be exactly who you had in mind, it is possible that it could be someone totally different an unexpected. When it comes to your children, it is better not to take any chances.
Having a will may also help to avoid problems with early inheritances. While all of the money you saved for your children can go a long way, it may also do more harm than good if your children inherit too early or all at once. By default, children inherit at 18 years old. If you think that an 18 year old is too young to inherit your entire fortune, then having a Will may be prudent.
The ability to separate some of your assets into Primary and Secondary Wills is also a valuable feature of will drafting. Because not all assets require probate, you could save on estate administration tax by having a Secondary Will for those assets. While estate administration tax is only a small percentage of your estate, for larger estates, it could add up to be a significant amount.
Finally, having a Will allows you to include detailed instructions about the management of your affairs. This includes burial instructions. While not legally binding, burial instructions help to eliminate doubt when your family tries to decide what you would have wanted at such a difficult time in their lives. In order to lift some of the burden off of your loved ones, it is better to include instructions in your Will.