For most people, buying a home is a significant milestone and the biggest purchase of their lifetime. While Canadians protect their residences with home and title insurance, many are not addressing who will inherit what may be their largest asset. A survey of more than 2,000 Canadians revealed that a majority of adults (56 per cent) do not have a signed will. The survey was released by LAWPRO's TitlePLUS insurance program.
A will is a legal, written document that sets out the person's wishes about how his or her estate should be taken care of and distributed after death.
“The absence of a clear, signed will can become a divisive and contentious issue at a time when families are already experiencing grief, and can result in a range of complications, from belongings not going to the person they were intended for, to court battles that cost thousands of dollars,” said Ray Leclair, vice-president of public affairs at LAWPRO.
According to the survey results, only 13 per cent of Canadians sign a will when they purchased a home or condo. This is an ideal time to do it, says Leclair, who is also an experienced real estate lawyer.
“Homebuyers already have a lawyer working on the purchase and should be thinking of having wills and powers of attorney drawn up.”
Working with a lawyer to create a will can cost as little as internet access for a year and will reduce the risk of relevant issues not being addressed or of a breach of a technical requirement for a valid will.
Having a will not only ensures assets and interests are protected now and in the future, it can also bring peace of mind and provide greater assurance for loved ones.
A useful resource for homebuyers looking for information on the buying process and what real estate lawyers can do to protect their interests is the TitlePLUS Real Simple Real Estate Guide at www.titleplus.ca.