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“Why do I need a Will?”

“Why do I need a Will?”

Do you have children under the age of 18?  Have you recently married or divorced? Do you want to minimize difficulties for your loved ones during a time of emotional turmoil? Do you want to decide whom to leave your money to, rather than let the government decide for you?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you should make a Will without delay.

There are several common misconceptions about Wills: they are necessary only if you have a lot of money to leave; they are meant to be made by very old people; they are not really necessary because your family knows your wishes regarding how your assets should be distributed.

The reality is that every person should make a Will, regardless of their circumstances, intentions or age. Here are just a few reasons:

  1. If you have children under the age of majority (18 years in Alberta), who will be their legal guardian in the event you and your spouse both pass away?

When you make a Will, you can appoint a person or persons to care for your children physically and                                financially, in the event that both you and your spouse are no longer alive.

Couples have been known to perish together in tragic accidents and, often, there is confusion and discord                      among the extended family members as to who should care for the children.

A Will helps you choose and appoint a guardian, thereby ensuring that your children will be safe, secure                         and well cared for even after your passing.

  1. If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed in accordance with the provisions of the Wills and Successions Act of Alberta. In other words, the government will decide who will inherit your hard-earned money.

The Act provides for your property to go to your spouse; if you don’t have a spouse, it will go to your                                children.

If you want to leave something to other loved ones, like extended family members or friends, or to                                   charities, you should set down your intentions clearly in a Will.

  1. If you don’t leave a Will, who among your family members should take on the responsibility of winding down your estate?

Winding down your estate involves closing your bank accounts, selling off property, liquidating your                              investments, disposing of your  personal items etc.

Family members can, and often do, squabble over who should undertake these responsibilities.

Sometimes, family members lack the ability to wind down the deceased’s affairs, for various reasons.

In addition to the shock and emotional turmoil of losing you, your family members would have to cope with                 your financial affairs too.

You can save your loved ones all this trouble by appointed one or more executors in your Will. Your executor               will be responsible for distributing your estate. You will be able to pick and choose an executor who is                             trustworthy, capable and responsible.

  1. If you don’t leave a Will, the Court must first issue a ‘Grant of Administration’ of your estate before it can be distributed. This can be a lengthy process.

With a Will, the process is quicker.

At Round Table Law, lawyer Sai Ravikumar will guide you step-by-step through the Will-making process and make it a painless experience for you. We will charge you either a flat rate or by the hour, depending on the complexity of your Will.

Contact Sai today at (587)525-5586 or and take the first step towards protecting your loved ones after your passing. Whether you are in your 20s or your 80s, it’s never too early.

How to disrupt the legal profession: Stay home, make less.

How to disrupt the legal profession: Stay home, make less.

  1. Know how much money you need.
  2. Figure out how much you need to work to make that amount of money.
  3. Work that much, not more.

How to do #2? Take the money you need, gross up for taxes, add $25k, divide by your hourly rate (or whatever pricing unit you like, e.g. the cost of a divorce). As a preview, it’s going to be in the range of half to a quarter of what your firm expects you to do for them.

But this is only possible for independent lawyers. Which is why we need to make it easier to be an independent lawyer.

Think of the problems this helps fix:

  • Stress? Working half as much is a great stress reliever. Plus you’ll have time to do those self-care things that are such a good idea.
  • Gender Equity? If you work for yourself from home, no one cares about when you took mat leave.
  • Access to Justice? If all the (particularly) women who quit the profession are given the opportunity to keep working half time or less from home on their own terms, I think we’d have a lot more lawyers. Supply goes up, price goes down.

And it’s not just better for the lawyers who do it.  The “better” spreads.  Because if every firm knew that it was easy and maybe even desirable to work for yourself from your own home, what would they have to do to retain talent that they don’t have to do now?  Hit them in the pocket book.