Effective Estate Planning
We all know how important it is to have all of our legal documents in place and up to date. This should include Wills, Power of Attorneys, Trusts, etc…. But have we really done all we can do to ensure we have taken all the steps possible to enable a smooth transition of our Estate?
Approximately 50% of Canadians who have completed these legal documents have failed to advise the individual(s) (alternates after a typical spousal appointment) that has been named as Executor, Trustee or Power of Attorney, that he/she has indeed been named. Individuals named to these duties have the legal right to rescind the appointment and effectively defer to the next individual named. If there is no individual named, then the appointment defers to either The Office of the Public Guardian & Trustee (the government) or your family will have to go through the process necessary to be appointed by the courts. Neither situation is optimal. When naming an individual, it is important to consider not only their ability and mortality, but most importantly their willingness to fulfill the role you are asking them to take on.
A plan is better than no plan at all, however a well thought out plan is certainly more effective. Taking extra steps in your Estate planning process will not only provide you peace of mind, but also make things much easier on those who must deal with your affairs after you are gone. The previous example is quite logical. So now place yourself in the shoes of that individual. You are now faced with a fairly significant task. What steps could be taken to reduce the burden on him/her. By simply organizing your records and storing them in an accessible location known by the individual, you immediately eliminate frustration, increase efficiency and avoid conflict.
Settling an estate is like putting together a puzzle. However, it is much easier when you have all the pieces in front of you. Make sure you are not setting up your heirs for frustration and financial pain. As part of the Northland Wealth Plan we provide a thorough review of your legal documents to ensure that it is not only effective but also efficient. For more information please contact our office.