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When is the right time to write a Will? Hint: right now

Home // Wills and Estates Law

Most people assume a Will is unnecessary until they have children or have accumulated significant wealth. Ask them why and you will usually get one of these responses:

Edmonton Wills and estate lawyer Andrew Geisterfer, a trusted planner of trusts, wills and estates for estates & trust administration & planning in Edmonton Alberta.

Most people over estimate the cost of having a Will done by a Wills & Estates lawyer– and severely under estimate the consequences of not having a Will.

  • I will have to make some difficult decisions I would rather avoid
  • Only old people need a Will
  • Having a Will done by a lawyer is expensive
  • I don’t have the time
  • I can to the Will myself

Now let’s look at what Andrew says about each answer:

It forces me to make decisions I don’t want to make

Andrew’s answer: Having no Will means someone else will make decisions about your estate. Having a Will means you make the decisions. They may be tough decisions, but they are your decisions and that is always the better alternative.

Only old people need a Will

Andrew’s answer: Age is not the issue. You should focus instead on the assets in your estate. If they have value and you care about how they are distributed following your death, it’s time to get a Will done.

Having a Will done by a lawyer is expensive

Andrew’s answer: Not having a Will can lead to unnecessary costs that far exceed anything you spend on your Will. Moreover, the absence of a Will typically means that it takes much longer to execute the transfer of assets. Put simply, you are making the distribution of your assets much more difficult than it needs to be.

I don’t have time

Andrew’s answer: What’s more important than the assets you have accumulated in a lifetime? Not much. So go ahead and schedule a meeting with your lawyer to discuss your Will. It’s time well spent.

I can do the Will myself

Andrew’s answer: Only a trained legal professional with years of experience handling Wills and Estates knows how to set up a Will that ensures your intentions are followed. If you miss just one consideration, the distribution of your assets could be much different than you wished.

Legal Scenario

Leaking basement

"I moved into my new home in early January and at that time there appeared to be no issues with my basement. However, when the usual spring thaw came in April I noticed that my basement was leaking. What should I do?"

What Would Andrew Recommend?

This scenario highlights the importance of having a property inspection done before you sign a deal. A property inspector is trained to see thing you don’t see. For example, in the winter, when everything is frozen, you are not going to see any water accumulation in your basement and you may therefore assume it is dry. A trained and experience home inspector will look for stains on a wall or other indicators that there was a leak during the summer months. It’s even better if you also have the sellers expressly warrant that the property has never been subject to flooding and they are not aware of any flooding issues with the home. That way you have a legal recourse if it turns out that they were not being honest.

Meet Andrew Geisterfer Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer

Andrew Geisterfer

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