How do you feel about your executor sinking or swimming? What if some preparations were made that would make the job of the executor much easier, cutting time and stress? In fact, wouldn’t you feel much better as well, knowing your affairs were in order and your personal records were updated? Think about the surviving spouse and the enduring power of attorney, how they would feel? It doesn’t have to be a long exhausting process either. You just need to know what to do and who can help you. Many baby boomers should be concerned about an update for themselves as well those people who they are named executor.
Only about half of Canadians have a will! To make matters worse, many wills are not up to date and sometimes have an inappropriate executor. For example, they may live too far away, they may not be financially competent or, they might just not want to do it. Many executors don’t have a clue what’s in store for them. Some estates are big problems as well. Even those that are straight forward still take time and energy.
So what are some of the preparations you can do now that will make the job of the executor easier?
Update the will so that you have appropriate beneficiaries, executor (or joint executors) and the right guardians, in the case of minor children.
Complete a personal records inventory and estate summary page. This will give both the enduring power of attorney and your executor an understanding of your personal records.
Maybe some assets could go in joint name, thereby eliminating those assets from going into the estate?
Have a printed list of “What to do When Someone Dies.”
Life insurance and segregated funds are powerful since they both don’t have to go through probate and the estate, thereby saving the cost of probate fees and more legal costs. Life insurance can be bought for single life, joint last to die or joint first to die. Segregated funds, which are mutual funds and ETFs (exchange traded funds), are protected by the Life Insurance Act of Canada. They too have benefits like life insurance such as bypassing probate, ability to name beneficiaries plus other estate benefits. Some have guarantees too.
A facilitated meeting with you and your executor to review the basics of your estate plans can make a big difference. As a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), I see great value in facilitating a meeting with clients and their executor.
Do you have an enduring power of attorney? They don’t have to be the same person as the executor. They legally can act on your behalf in case of a problem like incapacity.
Even basic preparations can go a long way to make the job of the executor much easier so throw them a lifeline. I can guarantee that some planning and preparations will make you feel better too. Plus, remember that your executor may decide that they are not up for the job. Better to find this out now.
Feel free to reach out with questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment,
email us, firstname.lastname@example.org or call us, 902-404-8410. Visit our website; www.wiltshirefinancial.ca