Have you been putting off estate planning? While it can be intimidating to think of leaving your loved ones behind, making sure you have a will and other arrangements in place gives your family peace of mind during one of the most difficult times of the lives. Partnering with an experienced legal team like Paperclip Law makes it easy to plan with comfort and confidence. From handling the division of your assets to setting up trusts, charitable contributions, and building your legacy, and more, Paperclip Law is here to help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to start, below are 5 tips to help you begin.
1. Make A Comprehensive List Of Your Assets
Arguably, the most difficult part of will and estate proceedings is accounting for the deceased’s assets. Without a proper record for your possessions and property, as well as your wishes for both, the process of distributing assets among your relatives can be painful. Take a moment to make a list of your core assets, including:
Property: Including your main residence, along with any vacation homes or rental properties you own.
Financial Assets: Including your investment accounts, bank accounts, retirement accounts, annuities, and insurance policies.
Other Valuable items: Such as collectibles, vehicles, jewelry, or any other physical assets you wish to be passed down.
2. Meet With Your Trusted Legal Advisors
Working with a skilled legal team makes it much easier to plan your estate in a way that best covers both your needs today, as well as those of your loved ones in the future. Your attorney will help you draft key documents such as a will or trust, as well as distinguish the differences between the many options available.
3. Consider A Representation Agreement
If you’re concerned with your health and worried you won’t be able to make or communicate your own health care decisions, due to an existing condition or for the potential for one to develop down the road, you certainly need a Representation Agreement. Where a traditional will is concerned with the division of your assets after you pass, a Representation Agreement appoints someone to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to, and the Living Will part (which we incorporate into the Representation Agreement) informs your doctors of your medical wishes so they may act according to your desires if you become incapacitated and can’t make decisions on your own.
4. Choose Who Will Help Carry Out Your Wishes
In the event of your passing, you’ll need to appoint one or a team of individuals to carry out your wishes. From naming an executor/trustee to guardians and pet guardians, it’s important to select each position carefully and choose individuals you know you can trust to uphold your directives, even during a difficult time.
5. Update Your Documents As Needed
After you’ve created your will, you’ll want to stay on top of keeping it updated to reflect any and all recent chambers to your assets, family members, and personal wishes. While it can sometimes feel like an inconvenience to do so, even the most minor changes can have a major impact on your loved ones later on.
Protection Starts With A Plan
Paperclip Law is happy to help you walk through estate planning, step by step. Since 2011, we’ve been assisting personal and professional clients through some of the most important decisions of their lives. From protecting those they love to handling corporate endeavours, trademarking issues, real estate matters and more, we’re proud to partner with people all throughout the Greater Vancouver Area. Learn more about how we can help you by contacting our team today!