Estate planning is not exclusive for married couples or those who have children. If you are single, you can still have your assets and taxes ready in the event of your incapacitation or passing. Otherwise, the provincial law will decide who will inherit your asset.
If you don’t want to bequeath your assets to some heir you don’t like and trust, you must set up your estate plans accordingly. To set up your estate plans, here are some of the things you need to do:
Appoint a Lawyer and Health Care Proxy
The first and most crucial thing you must do to set up your estate plans is to have a lawyer with experience in estate law. Your lawyer will help you execute the power of attorney document. The power of attorney document is a legal verification that you allow or appoint someone to handle and make important financial and medical decisions on your behalf. Since the decisions will significantly affect your life, make sure you choose someone you trust to decide for you.
Write Your Will
Unfortunately, the power of attorney and health care proxy will no longer be valid once you pass. So, in order to give your assets to the ones you wish or like, you must write your will in advance. Your will is a powerful document that will state how you would like your assets to be distributed after your death. You must name someone who will manage your estate, attend to your affairs after you pass, probate your will, and pay income and estate taxes. It’s crucial to draft your will carefully, so you should seek help from a professional to write a detailed will.
Ensure to Create a Revocable Trust
Since you are the primary beneficiary of your estate, creating a revocable trust will benefit you a lot since you can change it anytime and even use it if you are incapacitated. If you’re not familiar with a revocable trust, it is a legal document wherein you place your assets into a trust during your lifetime. Then, the assets will be distributed to your heirs or beneficiaries after your death. During your lifetime, you can change the terms, remove assets, or terminate the trust if you have a revocable trust in place.
Consider Charitable Planning
If you are single and can’t think of someone to give your assets to, try engaging in charitable planning. Charitable planning can reduce your taxes while supporting a cause or charity that means something to you. Charitable planning works by making periodic or annual gifts to an organization you support throughout your lifetime.
Include Your Partner or Children as Beneficiaries If You Have Any
If you have a partner but were not legally married, you can still include them as a beneficiary in your estate plans. The same goes for your children. If you have children, name someone who can take care of them after your passing. Ensure that it’s someone you trust so that your children’s finances are handled properly.
Estate planning is very crucial, whether you are married or single. Your hard-earned money and assets should be with those you think are deserving. So, make sure that you set up your estate plan as early as possible. While preparing your estate plan, keep these tips in mind, and make sure to work with a reliable and trusted lawyer.
Ontario Wills can provide you with quality legal advice from our will and estate lawyer in Kanata. We can help you make your will at the comfort of your home. Get in touch with us through a video conference today!