Estate planning entails more than protecting your assets; it means protecting your loved ones too. It is through this that you transfer all that you have to your heirs, all while creating the smallest possible tax in doing so!
In estate planning, you define how you want your assets to be distributed once you die. It is also giving away instructions on how you want other personal matters to be attended to.
You now live in a modern time, but topics like this are still often avoided by people despite the advancements in medicine, technology, and overall ideology. Many people do not consider estate planning as an essential part of the financial planning process. Not all see its importance, or maybe some may find it an overwhelming topic to understand and speak of!
Ontario Wills will help make estate planning more comprehensible for you. Let this article serve as your checklist for creating your estate plan.
How to Do Estate Planning in Canada: 2 Steps
Step 1: List Down Your Goals and Wishes
To not be so overwhelmed with everything you need to think about, start with the simplest thing. Create a list of the important things you have and the essential people in your life. From that list, identify the following people:
- Primary and Secondary Beneficiaries: Who would you want to receive most of your assets when you die? Who is your secondary beneficiary in case something also happens to your primary beneficiary? How much percentage will they receive after all the debts and taxes are paid? These are things you need to think of when considering this factor.
- Guardian: If you have minor children, who do you want to act as their guardian? Make sure that person also gives you their consent before writing them down in your will so that no issues arise from this.
- Power of Attorney: If you are still alive but unable to make decisions because of health or injury concerns, who would you want to make the decisions on your behalf? Before you choose your executor, make sure to talk to them first—and have backups to them as well. There is also a Power of Attorney for Health Care, which means someone can make health-related decisions on your behalf when you become incapacitated.
Step 2: List Down Your Assets
This step is usually the most overwhelming part for people, but it will not require you to identify your net worth or be specific about your inventories. However, keep in mind that the more details you give, the easier it will be for the executor to do as you wish.
Tips on How to Make It Easier for You
Follow these instructions if you want to make the listing more manageable:
- Take note of your key assets. Key assets refer to your real estate properties and other investments. You are not required to put in as many details about it, but this list will also serve as your guide if you want to transfer the ownership of one item to another person.
Reminder for your investment—make sure to assign a beneficiary for each. Double-check with your provider if you have included a name for each investment!
- List down your liabilities. If you are still paying up for a loan or mortgage, you also need to keep your executor informed. That way, they know what needs to be cleared up and paid from your estate.
- List down your life insurance policy information. If you have personal life insurance or the one from your employer, list them both. Take note of the policy number, insurance provider number, and contact person, if there is any.
Estate planning involves thorough planning, but you can break them down into two simple steps if you do not want to get overwhelmed. You can also seek assistance from will and estate planning lawyers to understand what you are doing and make sure that you do not forget anything important.
Do you need an estate planning attorney to help you prepare for your future? At Ontario Wills, we provide legal advice for your situation and price our services depending on your needs. Contact us today so we can help you find a solution most suitable for your situation!