Having a Will gives you control over who will manage your estate, take guardianship of your children, and should give you the comfort of knowing that you have done as much as possible to ease the burden and grief related to your death for friends and family.
One of the main reasons you need a Will is so you may choose an executor. Your executor is responsible for holding all of your estate assets in trust and for administering your estate, which includes paying legal debts, planning your funeral, doing your income taxes, and distributing the gifts in your Will.
Without a Will, a friend or family member will need to come forward and take on the responsibility of executor. If no friend or family member takes on this responsibility, the Public Guardian and Trustee will administer your estate. In order for a friend or family member to administer your estate, he or she will need to make an application to court and may need to give a personal bond.
Another reason you need a Will is so you have control over how much goes to whom. In Saskatchewan, The Intestate Succession Act decides how your estate will be divided among family members if you do not have a Will. A Will also gives you the option of setting up a trust for minors or a loved one who has difficulty managing their finances or a loved one whose social assistance benefits may be jeopardized by a large inheritance.
If you have small children, you need a Will to designate a guardian for your children and their property. Deciding in advance who you want to act as guardian gives you the opportunity to see who among your friends and family is prepared to take on this responsibility and ensures that your wishes about how your children are raised will be followed. Without provision in your Will about guardianship of your children, an application for guardianship will need to be made to court and the uncertainty about who will be guardian may cause conflict among your friends and family.
A properly drafted Will should provide you with comfort and peace of mind by assisting you to properly plan for all possible contingencies related to your death and thereby avoid difficulties or conflicts for family members and loved ones.