Why you need a will
If you die without a will (die“intestate”), by default, you allow the province to decide for you how your estate is divided. You have no say in who benefits from your lifetime of effort, nor do you choose your estate trustee or executor.1 As well, if you have no spouse or next of kin, your province takes all of your estate into its own treasury.
1 In Quebec, an estate trustee or executor is known as a “liquidator.”
Your failure to plan can have unforeseen consequences:
- Your lifetime earnings can easily be depleted by taxes and unnecessary administrative costs.
- If you have children who are minors, you will not have the opportunity to indicate your choice of guardian.
- The settlement process is more likely to be drawn out and your family may undergo financial hardship.
- Your business may be ruined due to lack of any formal instructions on your part.
- Your estate will make no donations to your favourite charities.
A will allows you to donate money to your charities and other non-profit organizations and institutions. Donations to non-profit organizations also result in tax savings for your estate. A will is the usual means for you to make an orderly and timely plan to settle your affairs.
Consider your gift to a charity as an investment in the future. Like other investments, it should bring you the greatest possible satisfaction. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop a gift that is meaningful to you while bringing the maximum benefit to the University of Ottawa. Feel free to contact us for our list of suggested clauses to help you or your lawyer when drafting your will.
Review your Personal Planner and Information Record from time to time to ensure that it is up to date. This will pay dividends In terms of peace of mind for you and your family.