Even though thinking of your death may feel like the last thing you want to do, preparing your will is vital to secure your family’s future. Getting started with estate planning in your early days can help you to avoid the stress of facing such difficult decisions if you are faced with a life-threatening illness or injury. This week on our Instagram Live, we hosted Laroux Peoples to discuss how to be proactive around your will and estate planning.
How has COVID impacted estate planning?
As many people faced difficulties with their health during COVID, more people have been taking a step towards estate planning. A silver lining of COVID is the government has created programs to make it easier for you to plan your estate. During COVID, you can work with an estate planner from the comfort of your home through videocalls and video sign your documents to prevent meeting with your estate planning professional face to face. This can save you a great deal of time and effort.
What are some of the challenges of estate planning?
One of the biggest challenges people face when they start working on their will is the lack of financial literacy. Without understanding how RRSP’s and TFSAs work, your estate can get tied up and more funds can be lost to estate taxes and legal fees. If you want your loved ones to have peace of mind and you want to cultivate family harmony, work with a lawyer and financial planner to build an estate plan so that you can make the most of the hard-earned cash that is left behind.
Lack of organization:
Some families might face the challenge of not having proper documentation of assets which can create family conflicts about who should get what. Fortunately, an estate plan can help you to organize your estate so that your family can understand your wishes. Keep in mind documenting what you want to happen to your assets in your will, along with how you want to be cared for through your power of attorney will minimize family disputes.
Families might be challenged around sharing personal items (such as china, furnishings, clothing, photos etc.) that belonged to you that have emotional value. A strong desire to be close to the deceased person may make it hard for family members to part with these items. Infighting about personal items can be addressed if the person planning their estate creates a memo outlining special personal items, they are leaving to specific family members.
What are some common strategies to get started with estate planning?
One of the most common strategies around estate planning is to have multiple wills for tax planning. This strategy is most popular for individuals who have assets and family in more than one country or have corporations. If you are a business owner, you might also benefit from having two wills to separate tax planning for your individual and corporate finances.
When and how can you get started with estate planning?
The best time to get started with an estate plan is now! There may always be changes in your situation so it’s best to act sooner than later. For individuals who like using online resources, you can check out Planwell. This website allows you to go through different scenarios, customize one that applies best to your situation, and reach out to a legal professional that can help with your specific situation. However, the best way to get started is to contact a professional who can guide you to preparing your will. (To learn more about how estate planning lawyer Laroux Peoples can help, check out her website here. A financial planner can also help you identify, organize and understand your estate, create a financial plan to help you reach your financial goals, and create your will to provide you with peace of mind that you don’t have to make these important decisions at a time of difficulty. If you want our help to get started, book your complimentary 30-minute financial planning session with our team!
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