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This is one of my favorite post this week and I found it very interesting. This subject is almost taboo but I think we should discuss it. Making a will is something very emotional and we all tend to avoid the time where it should be a priority... Still it is part of our financial accomplishment.

Please read it and let us know what you think about having a will.
 

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This is one of my favorite post this week and I found it very interesting. This subject is almost taboo but I think we should discuss it. Making a will is something very emotional and we all tend to avoid the time where it should be a priority... Still it is part of our financial accomplishment.

Please read it and let us know what you think about having a will.
I liked the article too. Included in our first Friday Links post on our newly launched blog.
 

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I generally don't click links (due to all the advertising/spyware/malware etc that seems to await) but will be happy to discuss in this forum.

I do agree - it's only in recent times when a will became more important for my situation. Might be worth the $1000 (?) or so to talk to a laywer and get it done properly. Young people tend not to think of it, but as you accumulate assets and savings, who really knows what happens after someone dies?
 

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This is an excellent article! Short, concise, to the point, and informative.

I'm 33 and don't have a will yet. While I'm sure I'd go into high gear to get one if I was married and/or had dependents, so far it has only been "in the back of my mind" as a result of reading The Wealthy Barber a couple of years ago and taking a greater interest in my overall finances and future.

But I really should get on it as it's true that while we may never really even consider it until our later years, it's a need as early as legal age. We just have so many other focuses during our earlier years, especially when there are no dependents. I bought a condo pre-construction. By then, it will be even more important that I have a will written.

My question is about lawyers... outside of a real estate lawyer who my RE agent connected me with, how does one go about seeking lawyers whether it be for wills, employment, etc.? As easy as it may be to do a Google search, I can't help but think that there must be a more sophisticated approach to finding and hiring one. Or is there, really? Seeking out lawyers for anything is new to me.
 

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This is an excellent article! Short, concise, to the point, and informative.

I'm 33 and don't have a will yet. While I'm sure I'd go into high gear to get one if I was married and/or had dependents, so far it has only been "in the back of my mind" as a result of reading The Wealthy Barber a couple of years ago and taking a greater interest in my overall finances and future.

But I really should get on it as it's true that while we may never really even consider it until our later years, it's a need as early as legal age. We just have so many other focuses during our earlier years, especially when there are no dependents. I bought a condo pre-construction. By then, it will be even more important that I have a will written.

My question is about lawyers... outside of a real estate lawyer who my RE agent connected me with, how does one go about seeking lawyers whether it be for wills, employment, etc.? As easy as it may be to do a Google search, I can't help but think that there must be a more sophisticated approach to finding and hiring one. Or is there, really? Seeking out lawyers for anything is new to me.
We used our real estate lawyer to do our will.
 

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Rightly or wrongly, I just used the RE lawyer referred to me by my agent. While I've only spoke with him on the phone, I felt confident dealing with him. But he's also north of the city in Markham (I live in Toronto) so I can't see myself taking any trips up there and, in fact, had my agent do all the physical dealings.

He specializes in RE law and in speaking with people, it seems it might have been best to seek out a lawyer with a general practice and as such would both close RE deals and write wills. Apparantly, working with a lawyer who specializes costs more which makes sense, but isn't necessarily practical unless working on complicated RE deals. I was quoted $1,300. My sense is that for a Toronto condo that is a reasonable rate. But I wonder how much it would cost if I found a lawyer in Toronto to close the deal and also write a will.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is an excellent article! Short, concise, to the point, and informative.

I'm 33 and don't have a will yet. While I'm sure I'd go into high gear to get one if I was married and/or had dependents, so far it has only been "in the back of my mind" as a result of reading The Wealthy Barber a couple of years ago and taking a greater interest in my overall finances and future.

But I really should get on it as it's true that while we may never really even consider it until our later years, it's a need as early as legal age. We just have so many other focuses during our earlier years, especially when there are no dependents. I bought a condo pre-construction. By then, it will be even more important that I have a will written.

My question is about lawyers... outside of a real estate lawyer who my RE agent connected me with, how does one go about seeking lawyers whether it be for wills, employment, etc.? As easy as it may be to do a Google search, I can't help but think that there must be a more sophisticated approach to finding and hiring one. Or is there, really? Seeking out lawyers for anything is new to me.
I guess your real estate lawyer could be a good person. I tend to work with references in those sort of matters. Ask your family/friends, persons who live close to you and could refer you someone they trust. You could also search for notary's or real estate lawyer's associations or professionals in a Chamber of Commerce near you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I generally don't click links (due to all the advertising/spyware/malware etc that seems to await) but will be happy to discuss in this forum.

I do agree - it's only in recent times when a will became more important for my situation. Might be worth the $1000 (?) or so to talk to a laywer and get it done properly. Young people tend not to think of it, but as you accumulate assets and savings, who really knows what happens after someone dies?
Regarding your comment, When do you guys feel it is more important to have a will? What are the criterias making it a priority for you or not?
 

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If you are married, or especially with kids, or have complicated assets or beneficiaries, then it would seem wise to go straight to a lawyer. But it would be interesting to know with certainty under what, if any, circumstances the better will-kit type of things are sufficient. The basic case would be single, no spouse or equivalent or ex, no children, no real estate, one beneficiary who is also executor, and a backup beneficiary and executor. This sort of case would handle many folks, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of authoritative review of the will-kits as to their suitability. Or for that matter, much indication of the cost of a basic will such as this from lawyers in various areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you are married, or especially with kids, or have complicated assets or beneficiaries, then it would seem wise to go straight to a lawyer. But it would be interesting to know with certainty under what, if any, circumstances the better will-kit type of things are sufficient. The basic case would be single, no spouse or equivalent or ex, no children, no real estate, one beneficiary who is also executor, and a backup beneficiary and executor. This sort of case would handle many folks, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of authoritative review of the will-kits as to their suitability. Or for that matter, much indication of the cost of a basic will such as this from lawyers in various areas.
In my opinion, will-kits are very basic as it can't ask you the right questions to make you think about what or who is really important to you after you leave. A lawyer will. Also, making a will is something that needs to be prepared, questionned over and over again and, most of all, legal. With the will-kit type, the risk to forget something important legally is very high. So I would recommend consulting but a will-kit might be enough for someone who is not married, has no child, has not a large family and has a low net worth.
As for indication of cost, persons I spoke to spent between $500 and $1500 depending of the area (mainly in Québec and Ontario).
 

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The title of this thread is wrong....I will not have problems if I don't have a will, my loved ones, if I have any, will have problems.
 

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Based on my experience of having been executor of the wills of my mother, my sister, and two deceased husbands, I strongly recommend having a will, whether you have much in the way of assets or not. I came across a few situations where a will was needed, even though most of mine and my husbands' assets were in joint names. For example, while dealing with final income tax returns, CRA and the IRS (in the case of my American husband) refused to deal with me or accept my signature as executor without receiving a copy of a will. There were several other instances where I had to provide a copy of the will in order to prove that I was the executor and thus was authorized to wind up their affairs. If these people had not had wills, I would have had to go to court and been appointed their representative, which have ended up costing a lot more money than it would have cost them to prepare a will.

Every province has different laws concerning what happens to an estate if a person dies intestate and that can lead to some unintended consequences. For example, suppose a married couple with no will and no children are killed simultaneously in a car accident. In BC, if there is no way to determine which of them died first, the law assumes that the oldest died first, let's say the husband. The couple's assets, therefore, would be deemed to have passed on to the younger spouse, the wife in this case, and then on to her family members. The older spouse's family would get nothing.

I know that's an unlikely occurrence, but it's far from an impossible one. I'm a firm believer in everyone having a will, whether you think you need one or not.
 

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yes get a will drawn. Better yet, get a lawyer-drawn will.

re the simultaneous death by accident of a married couple. Solicitors routinely insert boilerplate providing that, in such a case, the estate will pass directly to the next level of beneficiaries. As i recall it's known as the 30-day survivorship clause, although the time period is sometimes extended to 60 or 90 days, in case one of the 2 spice survives such a bad accident for a brief period but remains in a coma.

another reason for the same lawyer to draw wills for both parties in a couple at the same time.
 

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I think the problem is the uncertainty. In order to decide when you need a will, you need a lawyer to assess the complexity of your situation. My Mom did not have a will, and when she died of cancer, Dad had to jump through hoops to get her estate settled.

My brother had a very simple estate, but the will just made it easier.

The big problem with getting an early will is that maintenance is a big issue.

I have never used a will kit so cannot comment.
 

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Years ago when my situation was pretty simple, I bought a will kit to see if it would do the job. Pretty soon I realized that it was just a PDF document with my name on it, and that I had very little opportunity to customize it. I didn't think it was worth the price of the kit.

Then I bought a house and had a local lawyer draw up my will for the first time. He was a friend of a friend and charged me only $25. It looked OK to me.

Later on, my situation became more complex, I used my bank's estate planning service and set up a foundation. The bank provided a list of lawyers they trust and I chose one. She cost megabucks, but she really knew her stuff. She also pointed out the pitfalls of the original will drawn up by the local lawyer.....which would have resulted in an outcome that I did not want.

I guess you get what you pay for.
 

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Make sure you tell your executor and family exactly where your will is. No use in having a will if you've hidden it where no one can find it and didn't tell anyone where it is.
 
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