One of the most neglected elements of financial planning is estate planning – many people have a life insurance policy and feel they have done their part. True estate planning is more in depth than that.
In addition to making sure all beneficiaries are in order*, a good estate plan takes a look at potential tax liabilities upon death and examines the potential solutions to those in advance. A common example is a family cottage. If there are not many assets left other than the cottage, it may be that the tax bill will force a sale of the cottage even though that may not have been the purpose of the parents or grandparents.
Another major issue is streamlining the estate. Some estates can take years to settle but if they are set up well, all the financial assets can be settled within weeks.
Ultimately, no one wants to leave loved ones with too little or give too much of their assets away to taxes. A good estate plan will try to account for this as much as possible in advance. Do you have living will?
Contact us to get this process started today.
*free tip* If you make your beneficiary designation on RRSPs and Pensions as ‘the estate of…,’ these assets will not flow through efficiently to family members. It is almost always advisable to name a person rather than an estate.