Are you one of the many Canadians that finds the prospect of writing your will and handling your estate daunting? While it’s completely normal (not to mention understandable) to feel a little overwhelmed when thinking about your passing, managing your estate and having a plan in place is one of the best ways to ensure that those you love are cared for once you’re gone. Partnering with an experienced legal team like Paperclip Law makes it easy to plan with comfort and confidence, and leaves you with peace of mind when it matters most. Below, we’ll cover 5 important tips for handling your estate. Read on to learn more!
1. Make A List Of ALL Your Assets
Most people have a general idea that will and estate proceedings involve the handling of your asset, but oftentimes it can be easy to forget what all is entailed in your estate. For the purpose of your will and estate matters, the items covered are your:
Property: Including your main residence, along with any vacation homes or rental properties you own. If you own shares in a residence, this will need to be accounted for as well.
Financial Assets: Including investment accounts, bank accounts, retirement accounts, annuities, and insurance policies along with all other financial means.
Other Valuable items: Such as collectibles, vehicles, jewelry, or any other physical assets you wish to be passed down, donated, or otherwise handled.
2. Meet With A Trusted Legal Advisors
Having a qualified legal team on your side takes the mystery out of estate planning and helps to ensure that all of your needs, as well as the needs of your loved ones are met down the line. Lawyers that deal with estate matters can help you draft key documents such as a will or trust, as well as distinguish the differences between the many options available. This is particularly valuable for entrepreneurs or those who may require a will for business and a will for personal assets.
3. Consider Your Health
Did you know that will and estate don’t just deal with death? If you have any concerns about your health at present or see the possibility of something arising down the line, it’s wise to consider drafting a Representation Agreement. A Representation Agreement appoints someone to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so, and a Living Will section (which is incorporated 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 Your Executor Carefully
In order for your estate to be handled properly after your death, you will need to appoint an executor to carry out your wishes. The executor will have the final say over a wide variety of assets and decisions including funeral arrangements, allocating assets and handling things with your legal and financial representatives. Choose your executor carefully to ensure that your wishes are upheld exactly as you planned.
5. Update Your Documents Regularly
Wills are not static documents and need to be updated regularly to reflect all significant changes to your assets, family structure and more. 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.
Plan For Tomorrow Today
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!