Estate Planning is often considered something you have to do when you are in your senior years.  But having an estate plan is important at any age.  It lets your loved ones know your wishes. It is also an integral part of an overall financial plan.  Estate planning includes having a well drafted will, choosing an executor, having power of attorney documents prepared for healthcare and property and documenting your financial information.

The following are five important tips to consider.

1.Create an inventory of your assets

Create a list of your investments, insurance, banking information, pensions, RRSPs and all your assets. Organize your tax documents, financial statements, and banking and credit card information.  List all your social media accounts and websites.  But most important, let your loved ones know where they can find these records.

2.Choose your executors carefully

Handling an estate can be very challenging and demanding.  Choosing the right executor is a very important decision. Some factors to consider when choosing an executor are time, proximity and expertise.  Talk to you potential executors and make sure they are willing and able to handle the responsibility.

3.Have open conversations

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is keeping your will a secret.  Let your loved ones know that there is a will and power of attorneys in place and informed them of where they are kept. Make your wishes known so that your loved ones are not blindsided.

4.Specific situations such as blended families call for a custom estate plan

Estate planning is rarely straight forward.  Specific situations, such as a second marriage, add to the complexity of the plan.  Make sure that all your decisions are up to date and consider making your spouse and family members aware of your wishes.

5.Consult a professional

Online estate kits can seem like a good alternative but it is very easy to miss important details.  Working with an estate lawyer and other financial professionals ensure that every situation is addressed.

Having a clear well laid-out estate plan can give you and your loved ones peace of mind and help avoid costly mistakes later on.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Source: Original article by Sun Life Financial posted on Advisor Edge website on Nov 2018.
Original Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash