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Property caught in legal limbo: why Saskatoon lawyer urges everyone to have will

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WATCH ABOVE: The lack of a will could leave family members with more problems than property, at least in the short term – Aug 7, 2017

A Saskatoon home which has fallen into a sad state has become a precautionary tale for others.

While we may not want to think about the end of our lives in the lazy days of summer, the lack of a will could leave family with more problems than property, at least in the short term.

READ MORE: Saskatoon woman sick and tired of living next to abandoned house

In the Sutherland neighbourhood, there’s a home that’s in a sad state of decay with overgrown grass.

Two complaints have been filed with the City of Saskatoon regarding what many perceive as an abandoned home. Police have even been called out to investigate possible squatters inside but found no evidence of unlawful entry.

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It was later revealed by officials to Global News that the house belonged to an elderly man who died in March without a will.

At this point the home is in the hands of the court, but it will eventually be turned over to the man’s daughter who is now working with a lawyer to get authority over the estate.

“It’s so unfortunate because it’s quite simple and straight forward to have a will done up,” Erin Little, a lawyer with Little & Company LLP in Saskatoon, said.

For whatever reason or hesitation, it’s not an uncommon for a person not to have a will.

In fact, an estimated 88 per cent of people in their mid-20s to mid-30s haven’t made plans for what happens after they’re gone.

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“I think every adult should have a will.”

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Especially anyone with children so that in the event that something horrible happens, there is some certainty to what can often times be a chaotic, grief-stricken time for family and friends.

“You need to make sure you have guardians named for your minor children if something happens and you want to make sure you have a trustee named to handle your children’s inheritances,” Little added.

One of the most vital parts of a will is naming an executor, someone to handle the estate when the owner pass away.

“Being an executor can be stressful, it can be a lot of work so you want to make sure you’re choosing someone that is capable of doing that,” Little said.

Many may be concerned about the cost and while Little said the expense will depend on the law firm people work with, people won’t likely need to fork over any more than what one would spend on vehicle insurance for a year.

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Not to worry though, nothing is set in stone – revisions are welcomed after major life events like children coming of age and can changes can be tweaked with lawyers at any time.

“You’re getting a will done to make sure that if you’re gone – your children and your family are protected and that’s very important.”

There are “Do It Yourself- Will Kits,” however, Little caution against them since there are some requirements that need to be in place when it comes to your will. An attorney will be able to ensure that it is not only valid but legal.

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