Drafting a will may be good for your health

Making a will could be good for your mental health.

A recent survey found almost half of people who made wills felt “peaceful” after completing the process, while others reported a boost to their feelings of confidence and empowerment.

I can understand why people procrastinate when it comes to putting together an estate plan. On the face of it, a process that forces you to contemplate your own death doesn’t sound like much fun, but scientific research helps us understand why confronting this taboo subject may actually be beneficial for your mental health. 

According to a clinical psychologist writing in Psychology Today, the very act of acknowledging your own mortality increases the self-esteem and reduces the propensity for isolation in subjects. It has also been found to have a motivating effect on people to enhance their physical health and prioritize growth-oriented goals.

It’s not just yourself that will gain peace of mind once you’ve got a will in place: your loved ones will also thank you for having something in writing about your estate and its disposal, should the worst ever happen. 

Otherwise, it would essentially be the government who decides, thanks to Ontario’s Succession Law Reform Act, which sets strict rules for the distribution of assets in cases where the deceased left no will. 

However, the Act makes no provision for your individual circumstances of the deceased, which can lead to issues, especially if you have anything but a conventional family arrangement. Testators with common-law partners, estranged spouses or blended families can reduce the risk of an estate dispute by making sure they have an up-to-date will in place reflecting their wishes. 

Once you’ve taken the plunge and drafted a will, it’s a good idea to revisit your choices every few years, since the beneficiaries you named as a young adult may no longer make any sense after the passage of some time. 

Major life events – think the birth of a child, marriage, divorce, or a major change in net worth – should also prompt a fresh look at your estate plan. 

Disclaimer: The content on this website is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Users of this website are advised to seek specific legal advice by contacting members of Laredo Law (or their own legal counsel) regarding any specific legal issues.