I’m hoping to convince many of you faithful readers to add one more item to your list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2018.

“I will get my Will done!”

There are too many of you that do not have a Will (and Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive, but one at a time….)

Repeat after me: “I will get my Will completed in 2018”. Now, how hard was that?

What is keeping you from getting it done?

Cost? Yes it costs money to pay the lawyer to get it done, but it’s cheaper than not having a Will in place. And you need to have a Will that has been properly executed (see my article on my website annimarkmann.ca to find out what is a properly executed Will: Your Will: Save Money, Get a Lawyer, from September 2017)

Not sure who should be the executor or your legal representative? Maybe I can help you make a good decision about that.

It should be someone who lives in Manitoba, preferably live near where you live; it should be someone who has some administrative skills (someone who does not shy away from paperwork, keeps track of everything they do, can contact a lot of organizations during business hours, is proactive and not a procrastinator); and someone who will get along with your beneficiaries, or at least be civil with them. And it should be someone younger than you (especially if you are a senior).

If you are still having a tough time coming up with someone appropriate, let’s talk.

Not sure who should be the alternate executor? See the previous question. And yes you do need one.

Not sure who should be the legal guardians if you have children under 18? We can talk about that too. Often, the legal guardians to your children should be someone who will raise your children as you would want them to be raised. And the executor and the guardian can be two separate people. And maybe they should be two separate people. If you don’t know why, ask me.

If you want to leave some of your estate to a charity, consider using LinkCharity. It’s a way of leaving money to charity, but not having to change your Will each time you change your mind about which charity or how much to leave to specific charities. I can explain it more if you want to look at this option.

Add your Will to your list of New Year’s Resolutions. Do not procrastinate about these important legal documents. Most of the time we do not know when we will need them, but we will all need them in our lifetimes or at the end of our life. But once we do need them, it’s often too late to do something about it.

If you would like to be contacted on a periodic basis to remind you about getting your Will done, let me know and I can be your “gentle reminder”; we can come up with a reasonable “deadline”.

I’ve been working with some clients who have attended one of our Death Cafés in the past few months and they have been so relieved to have all their legal representatives in place and now have peace of mind to go on living!

Please join me at our open house on Saturday January 20. We would love to see you before it starts to get busy when CRA opens for e-filing on February 20 2018. Happy New Year!

Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact her at 204.422.6631 or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or Info@SteAnneTaxService.ca