All right, so you decided to write a will. What a great decision! Nevertheless, you find yourself wondering what to do next. Wonder no longer, here are the next pieces of the puzzle.
Designate an Executor
An executor facilitates the settlement of an estate. It is his or her goal to adhere to the instructions you outline in your will.
If your estate is large, complicated, or you anticipate difficulties, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
How to choose an Executor:
When choosing an executor, we recommend you consider the following questions:
- Is this person likely to survive me?
- Does this person communicate well?
- Can I trust this person to be fair and responsible?
- Is this person capable of efficiently completing tasks?
- Is this person located within a reasonable distance of me?
- Does this person have some knowledge of financial matters?
*Tip: It is prudent to add alternate executors in the event your primary predeceases you, becomes incapable, resigns, or refuses to act on your behalf.
Learn more from Getting Smarter About Money.ca: Choosing an Executor
Make a Representation Agreement
A representation agreement allows a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapable.
Visit NIDUS to learn more about representation agreements: Representation Agreements
Designate a Trustee
If you have minor dependents, it is important to name a legal guardian and trustee to operate your estate until your dependents become capable of handling it themselves.
Designate a Beneficiary
It is important to name who you want to inherit your estate. You can leave it to family, friends, or even organizations.
Be clear when naming your beneficiaries. We recommend you even indicate your relationship to them and add a method of contact if possible.
If your estate includes insurance or investment products, confirm or update the beneficiaries.
*Tip: It is beneficial to have a primary and at least one contingent beneficiary in the event your primary predeceases you or the execution of your will.
If you have debts, such as taxes, mortgage, loans, prepare instructions on how your estate will pay them.
If someone owes you a debt, indicate whether you want to forgive it or add it to your assets.
If you want your family to lay you to rest in a particular way, it is important to leave specific instructions.
Moreover, the components of a funeral can cost between $4,000 and $15,000 in BC and Alberta. The average costing around $8,500, which is likely to rise with inflation.
Take a look at this article from LSM Insurance: Breaking Down the Cost of a Funeral in Canada.
CPP does not always fit the bill. We recommend that you set aside funds to cover the expenses of your requests.
Many people purchase Final Expense Insurance or allocate a portion of their life insurance policy to cover these expenses.
Create a Memorandum
A memorandum is the part of the will that is set aside for bequests.
In many cases, the memorandum is a separate sheet of paper that requires an additional set of signatures. It is useful so that you can revise it without redoing your entire will. It can also include the care of a pet.
Register Your Will
At last, you have nearly completed your will.
It is important to register your will because it officializes a specific will and identifies its location.
Visit NIDUS to register your will: Steps to Register a Will
Update Your Will
It is important to review and update your will. Frequently, people create a will and forget to update it when important changes arise.
Reasons to update a will:
- Added assets (property, life insurance, investments)
- A death (beneficiary, executor, trustee)
- A divorce (remove a beneficiary, name change)
- A marriage (add a beneficiary, name change)
- A newborn (add a beneficiary)
For more information about Estate Planning, visit NIDUS: Estate Planning
Simplified Financial is here to help you simplify this process. We can offer support and direct you to the right people. Please give us a call!
Have a question? Or need clarification?
Call to schedule an appointment with one of our advisors.
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