Stop Putting Off Estate Planning
Apr 7, 2021
Writing a will and planning for what happens to you and your estate towards the end of life is a topic that many people simply don’t want to deal with. Even when you know the importance and the benefits of estate planning, it is one of those tasks that is easy to put off until you ‘have more time.’ Many people don’t realize that estate planning is an essential part of your financial plan and maximizing what you are able to pass on to your heirs. An estate plan also includes instructions on what to do in the event that you become incapacitated before your death. There are many good reasons to get estate planning out of the way. Here are a few of the reasons why you should stop putting it off.
Simplifies Matters in Difficult Times
The people you leave behind are already dealing with a lot. Funeral arrangements, government filings, and taking control of financial matters add to the load. Having an estate plan in place gives you some peace of mind that your loved ones won’t have to struggle to find the information they need when they need it.
Settles Questions That May be Difficult to Answer
Do your loved ones know all of the details of your wishes for end-of-life? Are they aware of all the financial and legal matters that may need to be dealt with? If not, having a comprehensive will and estate plan in place informs them. Perhaps you have an insurance policy or an investment that no one knows about, or may have forgotten. Your plan should answer questions that may be difficult for loved ones to make, such as your choice for end-of-life options should you become incapacitated.
Minimize Tax Impact
One of the best reasons to prepare an estate plan is to minimize the impact of taxation on your assets after you pass. In Canada, assets within your estate at the time of your death are taxed before the assets are dispersed to your heirs. So, depending on the value of what you leave behind, a significant chunk of that value may go to taxes rather than to your beneficiaries. In the estate planning process, the tax situation is assessed, and steps are taken to minimize tax that would be payable upon your death. The net effect is that more of your assets are left to your loved ones.
Not documenting your wishes in advance can lead to disputes should you become incapacitated or die. Decisions like burial instructions and the handling of the contents of your estate can become contentious. Taking the time to document what you want to happen after your death reduces the likelihood of disputes by letting everyone know your intentions.
When is the Best Time for Estate Planning?
Any one of several life events should be triggers to create an estate plan. Marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, and the accumulation of a significant amount of wealth are all reasons to write a will and plan for the future of your estate. The estate plan helps ensure that your assets are protected for the benefit of your spouse and children. If you are divorced, an estate plan prevents people you may longer want to have a claim on your estate from doing so.
It’s time for you to do more than just think about estate planning. Kelly D. Jordan Family Law Firm can help by making the process easy and comfortable. Contact us by calling (416) 849-5501 or through the form on our website to begin the process with an electronic intake package sent to you in advance of an in-person appointment. We can help establish power of attorney, set up trusts and ensure that your estate is structured in the most tax-efficient way possible. We are here to help make the estate planning process easier for you.
Kelly D. Jordan is an experienced and respected family lawyer in Toronto. A certified specialist in family law, Kelly and her team of family law professionals will represent you with compassion and creative legal strategies to help get you to a resolution. Call or book an appointment for a consultation.