What your will should cover

Your will should include more than just who gets what – it should also contain information about who will carry out your wishes.

5 key things your will should cover

1. Basic information about you

This includes your name, your address and the date you signed the will. Your will should also state that it is your last will and that it takes the place of any will you made before.

2. The name of your executor

An executorExecutor Someone you name to carry out the wishes that you set out in your will after your death. May be named by the court if you don’t name one. In Ontario, an executor is called an estate trustee.+ read full definition is called an estate trusteeEstate trustee In Ontario, another term for executor. Someone whom you appoint to carry out the terms of your will.+ read full definition in Ontario. This is the person you name to carry out your wishes.

3. Your executor’s right to manage your estate

You should give your executor the right to manage your estateEstate The total sum of money and property you leave behind when you die.+ read full definition and pay your debts and final costs, such as your mortgageMortgage A loan that you get to pay for a home or other property. Often the loan is for 20 years or more. You make a set number of payments for a set amount each year.+ read full definition, loanLoan An agreement to borrow money for a set period of time. You agree to pay back the full amount, plus interest, by a set date.+ read full definition payments, funeral expenses and final income taxes.

4. How you want your assets distributed

Your will should state who gets what from your savings and property, including your home, investments and cash. It should cover all the things you own, such as cars, furniture, pictures and jewelry.

5. A guardian for your children

If you have children who depend on you for support, you should name a guardianGuardian A person that you give the legal responsibility to care for a child or adult who cannot take care of themselves. There are different types of guardians for property or health.+ read full definition in case both you and your spouse or partner die at the same time. While your designationDesignation A title that tells you that a person has qualified to work as a financial planner. For example, an advisor may get the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential based on their education, experience, exams and ethics.+ read full definition is not legally binding, it lets the court know who you want to care for your children. This will likely be factored into the court’s final decision.

4 key points

Your will should cover:

  1. Basic personal information
  2. Executor’s name and duties
  3. How assets are distributed
  4. Guardian’s name
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