Death is not a comfortable subject.
Most of us try to avoid thinking about death at all.
It is hard when we lose someone we love.
Thinking about your own death is also very emotional.
Planning for what happens next ensures your wishes will be followed AND it makes a challenging situation easier for your representatives and heirs.
There are common questions that we all consider…
What will I leave behind? To whom?
How do I divide the assets of my estate to my chosen heirs and charities?
How do I minimize taxes and final expenses owing so my heirs get as much as possible?
Is there a way to ensure a quick settlement of the estate?
Who do I choose to be my executor?
How do I minimize the stress of estate settlement for all parties concerned?
The best time to put plans into place is while you are still alive and capable of making your own decisions.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Jeanne waited and died without a will.
Her children knew how she wanted to divide her estate but, without a will, they had no say.
In the Province of B.C., the Wills, Estates and Succession Act essentially writes a will for those who do not make one before they die. It dictates who gets what and gives the heirs no say in who administers it.
It also meant delays, extra expenses, and considerable inconvenience for Jeanne’s children as her assets were frozen until the job was completed.
In my 30 plus years of experience, I have found that 55 to 65 is the optimal age range to prepare your estate.
Your top priorities should be structuring your assets and producing the documentation (will and power of attorney) to back up your wishes.