Beyond the Will: What’s Involved in Estate Planning?

Every Canadian should have a will. We understand how uncomfortable this discussion and process can be, but it’s crucial to take care of to gain peace of mind and to know that your family and your assets are well taken care of. A Will allows you to determine how you want your possessions and estate handled, who the executor will be, and who the guardians of your children will be if something should ever happen to you.

If you’re wondering what’s involved in estate planning, here’s what you need to know when it comes to gaining that important peace of mind during the creation of your Will.

 

Create your Will

An essential part of estate planning is creating your Will. This key legal document outlines how your assets will be distributed and to which beneficiaries. It also stipulates who will be responsible for ensuring your wishes are carried out exactly as you planned.

 

Name the Executor

Naming your executor is the next important step of your Will planning process.  This person or corporation will have the responsibility for carrying out your wishes after you pass away.  This named individual will also have the responsibility to issue payment from your bank account to cover any taxes or debts that you owe.

 

Choose the Power of Attorney

Important to your estate planning is also determining a Power of Attorney. This refers to someone you designate to have the power and legal precedence to make any financial or health-related decisions on your behalf.

 

Set up your Insurance

Many people underestimate the amount of money that’s necessary to cover the funeral expenses, taxes, debts, and probate fees. Setting up a life insurance policy can help reduce these burdens on your family and can also help your heirs receive inheritance money to help them out in the future.

 

Ensure Business Continuity

Without a plan for business continuity, you may end up leaving your business partners or family members in a bind. Instead, plan out how your business will operate after you pass on.

 

Outline Personal Care and Funeral Arrangements

Without a detailed plan on personal care and funeral arrangements, your family will be left with the burden of making these painful and challenging decisions for you. An estate plan can help you pre-plan your before and aftercare, how it will be paid for, and your desired wishes for the service.

 

Designate Charitable Gifts

If part of your estate plan includes charitable gifting, ensuring this is included in your Will is vital to guaranteeing that your charitable plans will be carried out correctly.

 

Minimize your Income Tax and Probate Fees

Although you’re not charged an estate tax in Canada, there are other fees that do exist in relation to your Will. There are ways that your estate plan can help minimize your fees that will be charged by your province to process and probate your will.

 

Appoint a Guardian

A guardian will be the person you name to take legal custody of your minors in case of your death.

Talk to an advisor at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management Ltd. today to help guide you through the process of creating your Will and your estate plan, so you can take care of any unforeseen situations in the future. It will ensure your loved ones are looked after once you are gone, and it will help settle your affairs preventing any further stress or burdens from being placed on your family.