An Estate Plan is intended to ensure that when someone passes away, their assets pass on to their loved ones smoothly and without having to pay added tax. As well, a good plan makes certain their debts will be covered, whether it be a mortgage, funeral costs, capital gains or otherwise. There are many simple things one can do to make sure this happens, such as naming beneficiaries, successor holders, using a TFSA, purchasing insurance and more.
Common discussion topics to create an Estate Plan include:
- Do you have a Will, Power of Attorney for property & Power of Attorney for personal care that are up to date?
- Does your executor(s) have a copy of your Will?
- Does your Power of Attorney(s) have a copy of your legal documents?
- Do you have named beneficiaries (or successor holders or successor annuitants) for your RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, RESP, etc.?
- If you pass away tomorrow, will your Executor know who to contact with regard to your finances? (Financial advisor, banks, brokers, accountant)
- Will your family be able to access funds right away to cover your funeral?
- Will you leave a financial burden for loved ones if you pass away tomorrow or do you have insurance to protect them?
- Are your assets set up to bypass probate taxes where applicable?