By having a will, you’re ensuring your estate, finances and health-care directives are followed. If you don’t have a will, the government will split your assets for you and decide who gets what.

To help you understand the process, the BC Ministry of Justice has a useful website explaining many of the terms and answers to frequently asked question concerning: wills; probate and administration as well as estates. It’s located at: www.ag.gov.bc.ca/courts/other/wills_estates.htm

When creating your will, here are five things you should know:

1. Executor
Appoint an executor to carry out your wishes. They’re also responsible for paying final taxes and debts, dividing property and shutting down accounts.

2. Powers of attorney
You need to appoint two powers of attorney. One looks after your finances and the other looks after your health-care needs.

3. Guardian
If your children are under 18, name a guardian – should something happen to you. Without a will, the courts decide where your children go.

4. Original
In court, only an original will is accepted – no photocopies! Keep your original in a safety deposit box, or with your lawyer.

5. Update regularly
After any major life event, such as a birth, death or change to your marital or economic status, you should update your will.

Source: canadianliving.com

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