You’ve finally decided that you are ready to put together an estate plan (preparation of wills, trusts, and power of attorneys etc.) but are not sure about what the process will involve.
Here’s a quick list of some items that you should be prepared for:
Get specific about your assets
- There’s no estate plan without discussing financials. All assets need to be considered and reviewed along with designations which may need to be changed, updated, or revised. These include not only your home, investments, shares, or bank accounts but also things like life insurance policies, registered plans etc. Not giving these items attention could lead to problems.
Get clear on what you want
- Who should inherit your assets after you pass away?
- Who should be looking after your affairs (funeral, debts, taxes, administration and distribution).
- Who is the best suited to look after your minor or dependent children?
- Should you consider an insurance trust agreement in order to provide further protection?
- Are certain life-interest trusts or spousal trusts (possibly in a second-marriage scenario) required to further protect what you’ve earned and to ensure that not only is your spouse is protected during his or her lifetime but the capital of the trust is reserved for other persons?
Get the right opinion
- You likely have some thoughts on your plan and who it should benefit but aren’t sure about the right way of bringing them to life. The best way to sort out is to speak to a professional (lawyer, financial advisor, and accountant) with a focus in this area. An opinion from a qualified professional is invaluable in making the decisions that suit your needs and protect your assets.
- Generally, the first step is for you to fill out a questionnaire to provide personal information in order for us to be able to assess your needs and tailor the plan accordingly.
The above is only a general idea of what is involved. Feel free to call us to get the process underway.
Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only and does not serve as legal advice. Please speak to your lawyer to better assess your specific situation and estate planning needs.