5 Essential Tips for Writing Your Will


The topic of a will is difficult but creating one will be
peace of mind for your family or partners.


The will is your way of protecting your assets and loved ones after you pass. If you still haven’t written one, or could do with checking up on it, here are five essential things to keep in mind.

Do you own it 100%? Be-sure-to-specify-in-your-will-if-you-own-property

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Have you transferred anything, sold anything, then forgotten about it? Go through your old bank statements, deeds, records of communication, etc. Also, consider the form of ownership you hold of your current assets. Common ones that might complicate your will are:

  • Ownership with tenants in common: you own part of an asset, while one or more individuals hold the other part(s), and each can leave their share to whomever you prefer, without interference from the other(s). An example might be a large estate shared by extended family.
  • Joint ownership with right of survivorship: you own an asset with someone else, and that person automatically gets full ownership after your passing. A typical example of this is spouses co-owning a house.
  • Ownership with a designated beneficiary: you own something and have named a specific person or people whom you want to inherit that asset when you die. They get it without fail. Typical examples of this include annuities, retirement plans, or life insurance.

Executors, guardians, and trustees

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There are three functions for which you need to name people in your will:

The executor manages your property and processes after your passing. They monitor who gets what items and ensure that all your leftover debts and taxes are paid. You can name more than one. For example, a spouse can be a primary executor, a law-savvy family member can be their support, and a friend can be there for backup.

The guardian “gets” your children who are under the age of majority. This person provides for them and is legally responsible for them until the children are legal adults themselves. However, as children are not property, your specifications aren’t binding. Your will carries weight in court but doesn’t have to be followed, and children may be assigned a guardian other than whom you named.

The trustee is in charge of a trust fund that you leave behind. They manage the money until the actual beneficiary can manage it themselves. Education funds for children are a typical example. You can also name trustees for elderly care, pet care, business, or project funds.

Consider your business statusConsider-your-business-status

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If you’re a business owner, don’t let your personal feelings get in the way of the best decision. It’s tempting to leave it to a family member, but consider:

  • Are they genuinely interested?
  • Will they keep it running or sell it off at the earliest convenience?
  • Do they have the experience and skills required?
  • Will they conflict with business partners about how to run the affair?

If you prefer a trusted employee to be the beneficiary, the will alone might not be the most tax-efficient option. Consult with experienced wills and estates lawyers to see what can be done to optimize taxation and who exactly could have a claim to your assets and offices.

If you’re in a partnership, your interest goes to the executors of your will. If you haven’t made one, it passes to the administrators of your estate. They will handle it based on the specific conditions of your partnership. Your partners may have the right to buy your interest before it passes to your executors/ administrators, or to transfer it to a third party. Some of your interest may be sold to pay taxes or debt for your estate.

If you’re a sole trader, the business itself will close after you pass. The assets will be considered a part of your estate and go to the executors of your will or the administrator of your estate. They’ll pay any remaining liabilities (this might require selling some of the business assets).

In both cases, the remaining assets or money from their sale will be distributed according to the will, or according to the rules of intestacy if there isn’t one.

Keep it up to dateKeep-it-your-will-up-to-date

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The terms and conditions you set in your will may become irrelevant or impossible to execute later in life. You should update your will when you marry or become a parent. Common scenarios in which it’s critical to revise this document include:

  • Marriage
  • Separation
  • Divorce
  • Re-marriage
  • Birth of a child
  • Adoption of a child
  • Death of a spouse
  • Death of a child or other intended beneficiary
  • Death of a named executor

You should also check up on it if you gain or lose significant property, have a falling out, or a reconciliation. If you pass without addressing these changes, your property may be treated as though there never was a will in the first place.

Arrange your funeral Make-your-furneral-Arrangements-so-your-family-knows-what-you-want.

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Include instructions to make sure your wishes are known to your executor and family. Specify whether you’d prefer burial or cremation, if you want to be interred in a specific location, and whether you are an organ donor or donating your body to science.

These topics are often difficult to discuss in life. Including your preferences in your will keeps your loved ones informed of important procedures and will likely offer them some comfort and peace of mind.
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A Life-Altering Ouch: Personal Injury

 A-Life-Altering-Ouch-Personal-Injury We’ve all seen the movies: The patient is wheeled into the emergency room on a gurney. Paramedics are shouting vital stats to the intake nurse: “65-year-old female. Store’s floor was wet. She slipped and fell. Suspected hip fracture. BP is 175/90!” 

Cue the greasy-looking, business-card bearing “attorney-at-law” — or, as they’re portrayed on film, the “ambulance chaser.”

The fact is, scenarios like slipping on a wet store floor, being rear-ended by a texting driver, being bitten by the neighbor’s unleashed dog, and even wrongful deaths due to negligence happen in real life. Daily. The legal term is “Personal Injury.”

I’m a Victim of Personal Injury — I Want Compensation!

If it were as simple as this, every person would be on the benefit bandwagon. It would be chaos. Fact one: In order to initiate a personal injury claim, you have to furnish proof that you’re entitled to the reimbursement.

The best way to go about this is to approach a reputable law firm with specialized expertise in the field of personal injury law. You’re already vulnerable because of the trauma you’ve suffered, so you want legal assistance from a dedicated person (or team).

Where Do I Start Looking?

Good question! After all, type “Personal Injury Lawyers, Toronto,” into Google, and you’re hit with almost 3 million responses in less than a second.  Our recommendation is to skip past the ads and check the star ratings of the first page. Or do your research with the Canadian Bar Association. 

Fact two: a personal injury can happen at any time, anywhere. You don’t want to wait until an office opens to get help, do you? Some personal injury firms, like Diamond & Diamond in Toronto, are manned 24/7, via telephone hotline or online chat. Others offer a no-charge first consultation to discuss your case and expectations with you.

What Will the Attorney(s) Do?

The best personal injury attorneys will do everything they can to help their clients. They will treat your case as a unique one — because that’s what it is. One slip and fall is not the same as another. 

Dedicated attorneys will advise their clients of their rights as well as what compensation they may claim. Examples include (but are not limited to) loss of income (both current and future) and medical expenses. 

Excellent personal injury lawyers will investigate every aspect of the incident thoroughly and keep their clients abreast of developments while encouraging them to focus on their recovery. 

Any personal injury can have irrevocably life-changing effects on the victim. Seasoned professionals understand this and treat their clients with empathy. It doesn’t make them “softies,” though — they will doggedly gather evidence to compile their client’s claim. 

How Will I Afford the Services of a Personal Injury Attorney?How-will-I-afford-the-services-of-a-personal-injury-attorney

As mentioned earlier, some law firms offer a free first consultation to their clients, and expectations are established. If you visit such a firm and decide that you’re not comfortable, or that they won’t be able to fulfill your needs, you are under no obligation to procure their services.

All firms have different billing structures. Be sure to obtain the fees and conditions of payment from your attorney before entering into a contractual agreement. Will they be charging a straight fee because the settlement amount will be low? Or will they be privy to a percentage of a large settlement in the case of a win?

At the end of the day, if they are determined to fight for you, their client, and do everything they can to get you the settlement you are entitled to, and deserve, the fee will be worth it.

Don’t settle for an “ambulance chaser” — rebuild your life by joining hands with an attorney who would do as much for you as they would for a member of their own family.

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What You Can Do To Help Your Child Through a Divorce

What-You-Can-Do-To-Help-Your-Child-Through-a-Divorce-is-ensure-your-children-that-it-isnt-their-faultHelping Your Child Through a Divorce

If parting ways is difficult enough for both parents, imagine for a child who probably thought mom and dad’s bond was unbreakable. Separation isn’t an easy process for anyone, but the right approach helps all involved to go through the situation without friction.

In the US, around 40 percent of couples go through a divorce, making it a common experience—not any less difficult, though. However peaceful and no-fault a breakup may be, the couple’s children will show some form of discontent. Whether that’s sadness, anxiety, or irritability, the parents should expect negative reactions.

The fact is, these reactions are short-lived. But while times are tough, there’s a lot you can do to help your child.

Break the News Together

It doesn’t matter if the relationship ended in good terms or not, telling a child about the divorce should be a mutual decision. Both parents should agree to set a date and time to talk about the separation. This shouldn’t be a time to blame or point fingers at each other, as the child will need more support than ever.

While older children might have a better idea of what’s been going on around the house, the news will likely come as a shock for young children, especially if the parents have been keeping the arguments private. In certain ages, the minds of children won’t understand why mom and dad won’t be together and might jump to the conclusion that they don’t love each other anymore. As a parent, it’s your job to counter that.

You can start by telling younger children that mom and dad won’t be living in the same house. Dad (or mom) will live somewhere else, but you’ll both still love your child unconditionally. Reassure your child that she will get to see both of you and that none of you will “go away”. Even as the age goes up, never forget to tell your child that the situation isn’t their fault.

Keep Fights Out of Earshot

In the case of an unhealthy relationship, conflict is expected. However, what’s between parents should stay between parents and away from the children. That has to do with the potential mental health issues fighting in front of your children can cause. Seeing dad being bad to mom (or vice-versa) will not only make a child scared to be treated that way, but it can give him a bad example of how relationships should work. Also, arguing about who gets custody can confuse a child and make them think someone’s going away forever, which isn’t the case.

Therefore, parents should keep child custody and family law matters between themselves and a good attorney, and only talk to children about matters they understand, such as answering questions about when they’ll be able to see the other parent.

Of course, you’ll need a good family lawyer to settle your divorce, someone as experienced as these family lawyers in Brisbane. Choosing someone with years of experience in family legal services will help you move on from this difficult time without conflicts.

Offer Emotional and Psychological Support

Encourage your child to talk about their fears, and listen to them without judgment. Answer all kinds of questions she might have, as difficult as they might be to answer. If she has any signs of child anxiety, it might help to send her to a therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). With the assistance of a professional, your child will change their thought pattern and positively accept the situation as it is.

Is your family religious? If so, the VBS program teaches kids about the story of God and his forever love. Children, especially younger, won’t have to try and read the whole Bible to understand that they’re always loved and protected from above.

A Guide for Parents, Guardians, and Educators

The sooner your child understands what’s going on, the better—especially if she knows it’s not her fault and there’s no reason for concern. Constantly remind her that mom and dad’s love will remain regardless of what happens, and they’ll never feel like there’s a missing piece in the family.
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