WILLS & ESTATE PLANNING
Truth be told, I’m partial to my romantic comedies although every now and then I’ve always liked a little gun fight, the odd car chase, or even the Terminator. He always did threaten he’d be back….. (this week in a movie theater near you)
Well, here’s the thing (spoiler alert!), unlike the Terminator, in real life when we die, we are dead. We are not coming back (GASP!)…….yet, it keeps taking thousands by surprise every year.
What’s even more shocking is how many Canadian die without a will, or die intestate.
56% of Canadians do not have a will according to a 2012 survey by LAWPRO.
A will is the foundation of a good financial plan. Not only because you get to direct how your assets are distributed, but if forces self-reflection and one of my favorite planning principles Stephen Covey made famous, ‘begin with the end in mind’. Knowing what we are building, getting clear and painting that picture also helps propel us towards our goals. There are intestacy provisions which vary from province to province, however they probably won’t reflect the true wishes of most individuals and especially if you fall into any of these categories:
– if you wish your spouse to receive your entire estate
– in your second marriage
– in common-law relationship
– in same-sex relationship
– you have children from a previous marriage or born outside of marriage
– you have a child with special or circumstances
– you do not want a public trustee or government managing assets for your minor children
– you don’t want your kids to get their hands on all that money at age 18 or 19
– if you wish to do any tax planning whatsoever
– if you wish to leave any money to charity
– if you wish to appoint guardians for your minor children (and you def don’t want crazy Auntie B doing that!)
– if you wish to grant extended powers to your executor
– if you wish to establish trusts for your loved ones (so Johnny Jr. doesn’t get a $100K sports car at age 18)
– if you wish to leave money to your favorite financial coach …. (PM me for my banking details 😉 )
you need to have a will…
because who doesn’t want to have the last word.