Is 2024 the year your family is expanding?
If you are expecting a baby or plan to start your family, first we want to give you a big congratulations! We know you have a to-do list a mile long when it comes to preparing for your new family member, but we are here to add another very important thing to your list.
Planning for your new family should include making changes to your will or creating a will if you have not already done so.
Many new parents often overlook the process of planning for their future when it comes to their family. We want to share how important it is to have an estate plan in place even before you start a family.
Your will is a blueprint for what happens if the unexpected occurs.
- Who will care for your child if something unexpected happens to you?
- How will your assets be distributed to care for your child after you are gone?
Choosing a Guardian
Many times, we hear of new parents choosing a Godparent when their baby is born. Being given the title of Godparent is special, but it is not a legal designation in the eyes of the law. If your chosen Godparent can also be your Guardian of your child if you pass away, then it is always best to have this included in your will.
Without a will, the process of having the courts determine legal custody of your child can be lengthy and leave an unnecessary stressful event for your child and your remaining extended family members.
Distributing your assets
Your assets could help your child pay for their education, housing, basic needs, and anything else your child may need growing up. Your estate plan will stipulate exactly how your assets should be dealt with upon your death.
It is a common misconception that residents in Ontario think when they pass away, their spouse automatically gets everything and if both parents pass away, everything automatically goes to the child.
If you die without a will and you are a parent, these things can happen:
- The courts will appoint an executor to distribute your assets.
- The court will appoint a guardian for your children, which may not be your preference.
- Your child will receive a potential inheritance when they turn 18, which may not be the age you would have chosen. All your assets can go to your child, but they will be held in trust until they turn the age of majority (18 in Ontario), unless you say otherwise.
Even if you have a will, the birth of a child and changes to your family is a great time to review your will and make any necessary changes. Every Canadian should have a will, but parents top the list. An estate plan will protect your assets after you pass away, but it will also secure the future of your remaining family.
Creating a will does not need to be complicated if you choose the right estate partner. McMurter & Associates has helped countless families with their estate planning needs. For over 30 years in Whitby, Ontario, McMurter & Associates has the experience you can trust.
To meet with a member of our firm, send us an email or call us at 1-800-756-7138 or 289-278-0934 to schedule a consultation.
This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute as legal advice. Please contact us if you have any questions.