Excuse #1: "All I have is debts" - monthly expenses, loans, mortgages, etc. make it difficult to appreciate that you indeed have an "estate" (home, vehicles, investments, tax free savings accounts, personal belongings, etc.) but you DO. All of those items make up your "estate" even if they are encumbered. Even if the house is mortgaged to the max (and more importantly if the mortgage is not life insured), without estate planning documents in place your next of kin will have to deal with the property and debt on your behalf and your next of kin will likely have to incur more debt in order to do so.
Excuse #2: "It costs too much" - we agree that costs to prepare estate planning documents can be prohibitively high but we encourage you to think "cost perspective". Look at what you pay for home and car insurance every year and compare that to the cost of well prepared estate planning documents which stand to add another level of protection for your property and most importantly your next of kin.
Excuse #3 - "I haven't decided what to do" - in reality by not having estate planning documents in place, you are letting the government and court systems decide for you. A will, for instance, is the only way you have control over how your hard earned assets are distributed. You may want to leave funds to friends, distance family members, charities, or create an endowment fund to leave a forever lasting gift. Without a will the court systems across Canada have acts in place that distribute your funds among surviving family members. If choosing who you would like to receive your estate and/or leaving a legacy matters to you, you will need a will to accomplish that.
Excuse #4: "I know my family can sort it out" - your family must comply with what the laws dictate. Not having estate planning documents means your family must make decisions during a time of stress (grief and loss if you die) that are often more difficult and expensive than would be the case where estate planning documents exist. Without formalized documents prepared by you, confusion and uncertainty among your family members may lead to unintended results. Friction among family members can be easily avoided if you exercise your power to create estate planning documents now. Make NO MISTAKE we have seen families whom have never fully recovered emotionally and sometimes financially from having to make important decisions for their family member who failed to prepare an estate plan.
Excuse #5: "I don't have time right now" - how much time do we have period? None of us know the answer to that. Now is as good a time as any to prepare your estate planning documents while you have the opportunity to do so.
Excuse #6: "If I prepare a will I am signing a death warrant" - this excuse is fear in disguise and surprisingly is one of the most commonly used excuses we hear. Mindset matters! These two ideas may be helpful with that: 1. 100% of people die (with or without a will) 2. Statistics indicate that people with proper estate planning have a longer average life expectancy than people who don't (peace of mind perhaps!!).
© 2022 Make Your Own Wills