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  • Writer's pictureUzoma Ogbonna

October Free Wills Month!

I want to congratulate all the young-at-heart individuals that participated in the Free Wills Month this past year! Especially those that worked with Always Law –we appreciate you and your business.

For those of you who weren’t let in on the secret, the Free Wills Month program is a collaboration of some amazing Canadian charities, including the Canadian Cancer Society, Human Rights Watch, Wildlands League and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. It is offered in October each year for individuals 55years and over. As a group, these incredible charities pay for your will to be drafted in the hopes that people like you, after providing for your families, might have a little money left over –even as small as a $1,000 to give to one or more of the listed charities. However, they generously pay for your will, even if you don’t have the ability to donate to a charity. Contact Always Law for details on how to become a part of this program.

The idea of the program is that you can get a lawyer in your city to draft your will for free, the costs of which is covered by the Free Wills Month program at a fraction of the cost of retaining the same lawyer at any other time in the year to draft your will. Always Law, as part of the select law firms that participate in the program, do so because it’s an opportunity to give back to the communities that have supported us, while promoting the importance of being aware of your heard-earned assets and what should happen to those assets when you pass on from the land of the living.

There’s a national effort to get more individuals to do their wills. The Canadian Bar Association holds events for the public and sends lawyers to various communities to speak on the importance of a will. You can find the locations of these events within the GTA at the OBA Public Seminars page.

We often hear the question;

Why do I need a will when I don’t have much to give away?

The answer: “You’re worth more than you think.” (Yes, just like that old bank slogan)

Maybe you no longer own a car or a house but do you have a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) hanging around somewhere? Are you aware of how many of the various financial institutions and employers you’ve encountered over the years that have convinced you to open one? Chances are, a few have convinced you to open one. I can tell you that I was surprised at finding out I had a TFSA at a financial institution I’ve had no contact with for years! Do you know how many bank accounts are still lingering years after you thought you closed your accounts with them and moved on to other savings mechanisms? If you don’t have a record of these accounts, you don’t have access to these funds, and neither do your family members after you’re gone, and the government will eventually be the only one who does –that is unless some ingenious hustler discovers the account is worth a couple thousand dollars and charges your loved ones for access to the information you could have so easily provided them with.

One of the great things about engaging Always Law for your will is that we not only help you draft your will, we’ll provide you with guidance on figuring out what your assets are. We’ll help you figure out how to make it easy for your loved one to get the benefit of your gift without the burden that sometimes accompanies these gifts. Clients who have had previous wills come to us because they were told to sign a piece of paper as their will, without being told what this ‘will’ actually says and then they later discover the information did not accurately represent their interests. With Always Law, you’ll get an opportunity to discuss what your will says in non-lawyer speak, and even better, a chance to ask questions.

Always Law is willing to assist in creating your will at any time of the year, and if you’re over 55 years old with October around the corner, consider using the Free Wills Month program.

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