Who gets your stuff when you die?

Often times when drafting your Will, you can feel pressure to pick the right individual for the many roles that are involved in administering a Will.  For example, people have a hard time selecting what they want to do in the event of a family tragedy, or in the Will known as the “failure of gifts” provision.

Simple estate planning usually provides for your estate to go to spouse, then children and usually on to grandchildren.  Scenario: You planned a family trip, just you and the kids, and there is a freak accident. 

I know, this is certainly not a pleasant thought and I don’t want you to think this when you are planning your next family trip, but when you are doing your Estate Planning, you need to think about it. 

Most people are at a loss.  Sure, you can give your Estate to your parents, or your brother, you can do whatever you want.  Really put some thought into it.  

What if you don’t have any extended family to pass it on to?  Why not support a charity instead?  Perhaps you are an animal lover and you have a local animal daycare taking care of your pet.  Why not give them something?  Or support your local Humane Society.

If you leave this provision silent, what do you think will happen with your Estate?  You probably already know, and you have worked hard your whole life, do you really want your Estate to be dealt with how the government sees fit?  I didn’t think so.

The next time that you review your Will, or are thinking about doing your Wills, put some serious thought into the matter.  It really does matter and if there was that charity that means something to you, it really does go a long way and every little thing is appreciated.   

Christine Allan, Law Clerk

callan@andriessen.ca