Estate Planning: What You Need To Know

Do you know the importance of estate planning?

While no one likes to imagine the unfortunate circumstance of their passing, estate planning helps protect the ones you love most during a difficult time and ensures your legacy lives on. Having the right plan(s) in place helps to create a smooth process for everyone, and makes it easier to guarantee your final wishes are upheld.

At Paperclip Law, we understand that estate planning can often feel daunting and confusing. That’s why we’re proud to partner with our clients to forge a clear path forward that allows both you and your loved ones peace of mind. If you’re looking to get started with estate planning, but are unsure of where to begin, Paperclip Law is here to help. Below are five things to cover when estate planning.

Before we delve into the different areas to cover, it’s important to know that estate planning refers to the allocation of your personal property upon your passing. This includes assets such as property, shares in private and public companies, cash, clothing, jewelry, automobiles, land, retirement funds, investment holdings, savings accounts and more. Having your estate in order prior to your passing ensures that every resource is properly allocated as you wish.

With that in mind, the five variables you need to decide upon are:

1. Who Will Be My Executor?

Choosing an executor is one of the most important aspects of finalizing your estate. Your executor is responsible for carrying out your wishes as dictated by your Will. The executor has the power to make overriding decisions when it comes to funeral arrangements, organizing what you own and owe, managing your business and instructing professionals who handle your assets (lawyers, real estate agents, accountants, etc.).

When selecting an executor, you’ll want to make sure you have full trust in that individual, as well as their capacity to carry out your directives.

2. Who Will Be My Guardian?

Within the Province of British Columbia, a Will is the only legal document where you can choose a guardian for children under 19 that you currently have custody and guardianship of.

If there is joint custody and guardianship, the other biological parent will automatically become the guardian, otherwise, the parent with sole custody may designate a guardian.

3. The “Family Disaster Clause”

While it is extremely unlikely, there are certain instances where an entire immediate family may perish in an accident or unforeseen event. Should this occur, having a clause that clearly outlines which extended family members have access to your assets, as well as charities, foundations, and more.

4. What is a Power of Attorney?

Power of Attorney, much like being an Executor, is an extremely important role when it comes to guarding our estate. An individual with the Power of Attorney has the authority to act on your behalf while you are still alive but unable to because of medical, mental or physical challenges, in private affairs, business, or other legal matters.

5. What is a Representative for Health Care?

Finally, a representative is an individual with the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf while you are still alive, but otherwise incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes. As with choosing an executor and power of attorney, ensuring this responsibility is given to someone whom you trust fully is vital.

Paperclip Law Is Here to Help

If you or someone you love is in need of assistance when it comes to estate planning, probate law, or other legal services where personal and property matters are concerned, our team is here to help. Since 2011, we’ve built a name as a Vancouver firm that believes in redefining the relationship between clients and their lawyers. We’re here to help you find the answers you need, offering guidance, support, and expertise you can trust along the way. Contact us today to learn more.

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