By SSQ Financial Services Firm
No one likes to think about their death or the heavy burden that will eventually fall on their loved ones.
Yet, it’s important to plan for it now. Don’t put off this crucial task: these decisions don’t get any easier in 5, 10 or 20 years.
1. Make a will
Your will should clearly state who your heirs are, regardless of the value of your assets. It allows you to ensure the financial security of your spouse or your children and to avoid discord within the family.
Are you in a common-law relationship? It’s essential to make a will to avoid an allocation imposed by law.
Do you have a blended family? A will is twice as important to ensure that all your heirs are properly taken into consideration.
Estate planning is not just for people with valuable property. You might think that a will is unnecessary because you only have a house or some savings for your retirement. Think again! You have to plan the transfer of your assets upon your death, whatever they may be.
2. Appoint a liquidator (executor)
Name an executor you trust, inform that person of your decision and ensure that they accept the responsibility.
Don’t underestimate the work this responsibility requires and do what you can to make it more manageable:
- Keep all documents related to your assets, investments and insurance policies in a safe place.
- Prepare an assessment of your assets and update it regularly.
Because the role of executor is complex, your will should include an amount of money earmarked for the person you have appointed.
3. Remember to consider tax impacts
Upon your death, your assets will be considered sold and the applicable tax will be payable. This can leave your loved ones with major financial concerns and headaches.
Take out life insurance:
- The benefit paid to your designated beneficiaries following your death is not taxable.
- This money can be used to pay your funeral expenses and debts, if any.
- Do you own a house or a condo? The benefit paid may also be used to pay the required capital gains tax so your heirs don’t have to sell your home.
4. Talk about estate planning
Discuss your estate with your family. While nobody will enjoy talking about it, everyone will be happy to know that you have left nothing to chance.
When the fateful day arrives, your heirs may feel overwhelmed and the legal obligations will weigh heavily on their shoulders. Your foresight will help ease things!
And your golden years?
What happens if you are no longer able to manage your assets and finances due to an illness or accident?
This is where a protection mandate comes in handy. This document will appoint a loved one to look after you and your finances if you are no longer able to do so.
Don’t hesitate to talk to an SSQ Insurance financial security advisor. This person can walk you through the process and help minimize the tax impact at the time of your death.