Thinking about making the dreaded ‘Will’ automatically means to acknowledge the reality of death. Despite all of our religious faith’s acceptance of the finality of death, few of us think beyond what to do tomorrow.
I will be honest with you. Growing up in Saudi Arabia, and vacationing in Pakistan, making of a Will was least heard of, let alone, would be considered rather rude. Despite my parents living abroad, the talk about death, and what it would it mean for my family, kind of skipped the table talk.
After getting married, and spending a wonderful decade in Saudi Arabia with our 3 little daughters, my husband and I made the tough decision to move to Canada. Why did we do that… I will leave it for another post.
Once we arrived in Canada, making any kind of plans for the after life were furthest from our mind. Rather, if you are an immigrant like me, while reading this, you would understand when I say… surviving and making the cut to get the passport is your key worry!
Today after being in Canada for more than 3 years, I am wiser in terms of what are the laws of this land! So listen up Asian Immigrants… Yes I specifically talk to you due to the following reasons:
- Most probably you have little to none of your family in this country.
- Like all Asian’s you were taught to save save save! That means, even at your lowest, you have some stash saved up for the rainy day.
- You will have an inclination to embark on a religious pilgrimage sometime soon.
- You assume that if you die, your spouse gets all….
- Oh and you are the female of the house like me and have considered being the mom/wife to be the most of your being!
Oh I see I have your attention!
Well let me tell you now the reasons why you need to think quick about making a Will, and most importantly that life does not come with a warning expiry date.
Reasons to get you moving:
- Your kids can end up in the Foster System.
You assume that if death will arrive, it will be kind enough to befall on one of the parent, leaving your spouse in charge of your children. What about one of those days that kids are at school and you two decide to hop in the car for run and errands and stop for ice cream on the way? Allah may have other plans for you and you may not make it home to see your kids again.. I know.. I just shiver writing about this!
Well if you have family in the country, you are lucky. If you are like me, with no immediate family in this foreign land, your kids can end up being considered orphans and ward of the state! Even if one your kids is considered independent, he/she automatically do not get guardianship of their siblings.
For me to realize this reality, made me rush to write my Will with clear instructions on who is to be the guardian of the children in case of my/our demise.
2. You can end up without your house!
Despite having your name on the Property ownership papers, every province in Canada has its own rules on ownership. Make sure you talk and clarify with your Bank on who is on the title. Also, if not properly indicated in the Will, you may even be forced to vacate the property!
Making a Will with clear wording on who is to receive the house, is key! Also, you may assume that in case of death of both parents, the children will get the house. Wrong! Your house may become State owned,and may be sold for a loss, for distribution to your kins later on. You would not like that to happen to a lucrative property! Make sure you indicate clearly in the Will that you wish your children to receive the property/ies.
3. Your wealth in the bank can go to the state.
Taking a quick assumption that just because you are added onto your spouses bank account, you also own that cash upon his demise, is sadly false. Unless clearly indicated in the bank documents, the money will go to the state. This includes all other retirement funds ,tax-free plans and investments made by your spouse.
Having a Will written will ensure that the wealth is gives to you, or to your children, in case of such an incident.
4. Your assets can be withdrawn.
You assumed that your child will get that family bangle given to you on your wedding by your mother. Sadly, once you leave this world, any such item located in the safety deposit in the bank can actually not be given to your automatically. Having a Will with clear instructions on who is to receive which valuable item, will save your children the trouble of acquiring and dividing those precious heirlooms.
5. You may extend your last wishes in terms of ‘Living Will’.
Sometimes, we can end up in situations where death can be better than surviving on life support, with painful existence. Ending in a Coma, or a state which can be painful for yourself and loved ones, for sure the wish for a miracle for recovery is desired. However, this desire can be ill-fated with no positive result. Instead of leaving your family in a limbo, and the guilt of keeping the life support, you may choose to write a ‘Living Will’, or what is called the ‘Health Care Directive’. This can have instructions to your family on what your last wish would be if such a situation arises (na-aouzibilah!)
Despite ending with a harsh 5th reason, I do want to draw your attention to why it is key to make a Will when living in a foreign land. You may choose to write the will yourself, or go to a lawyer specializing in Wills, who can give you expert services.
For my husband and I, we decided to make a ‘Will’ before he travelled. After much research, we decided on using the services of FormalWill.ca. The whole process took us less than an hour, and the document was ready to be printed and signed without any hassle. We have the piece of mind that the document has the required content, and will stand up to any legal requirement.
Based on our great experience, I was able to get a special discount of 15% for Quezz Lifestyle readers! Use the Quezz Lifestyle link to get the 15% discount now!
In case the above link does not give you the discount option, please send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org , to receive the discount code.
Praying the safety of all parents. Amen 🙂