“Yes”, you say – “I had my will and power of attorney documents drafted years ago – I’m good.” Congratulations, if you have documents in place. But, do they still reflect your goals?
If your answer is No, then we encourage you to Act!
Make time to have those essential conversations with the people most important to you.
It is crucial to consult with a legal professional who has expertise in Canadian Estate Law to ensure that your will is legally binding and represents your wishes. Then, consider incapacity & estate planning that goes beyond your legal docs:
- A detailed list of all of your service providers & account numbers: this includes your real subscriptions and digital footprint (email accounts, social media profiles,online banking and investment accounts, digital photos, videos, online subscriptions) – and think about how to store your information securely(usernames and passwords.
- List of family/friend contacts: phone numbers and addresses that will help your executors notify and thank those closest to you.
- Letters to family members: what do you want to say to them just in case you don’t get to tell them?
- Special bequests of personal items: you may have an art collection, jewelry etc. that specific people to inherit. Create an addendum to the will which you can change.
- Specific Health Care Directives Personal Care wishes: A checklist for medical intervention preferences and personal wishes such as: do you dislike certain foods? Do you hate wearing wool because it’s picky?
- Funeral arrangements: include specific wishes for the ceremony, burial grounds, or end-of-life disposition
Make time to have those essential conversations with the people most important to you. Tell them where you keep your estate planning documents, and why you have chosen to create the estate plan you did. Communication is as essential as the documents you have in place.
Contributing Author: Kerri Latchman Certified Financial Planner | Associate Portfolio Manager The Viola Salter Group, Scotia Wealth Management