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Wills – How to Keep Legal Costs Down (Part III)

While a professional should always be involved in drafting a Will, there are a number of things clients can do to keep costs down. Lawyers generally charge by the hour, so you want to keep those hours to a minimum.

Therefore, before meeting with a lawyer, a client should consider the following:

1. Beneficiaries

Who do I want to get my possessions after I die? Make a list of what you own. Obviously, if you are a homeowner, that will be first on the list, but also have a list of investments, RRSP’s, business interests, as well as other property such as a cottage, family heirlooms and jewelry. Take along the documents for each of these if you have them. With something like your home, the lawyer will need to check as to the type of joint ownership. With appraised jewelry, for example, the appraiser’s description can assist in the description used in the Will.

2. Executor

Who do I want to be in charge of my estate? Who do I trust to do what I want done? The key word here is trust, not friendship. Trust both in integrity and in judgment. You want someone who understands what you want done and how you would want it done.

3. Guardian

Who do I want to raise my children (be sure and run this by them first!)?

4. Back-ups

Who do I want to be second choice for beneficiary, trustee or guardian if the first choice is unable or unwilling to act?


 

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