If you think your heirs are not quite old enough or prepared enough to discuss the wealth they will inherit on your death, you’re not alone. Unfortunately though, this way of thinking can leave your beneficiaries in a decision-making vacuum: an unnecessary predicament which can be avoided by facing your own mortality and making a plan.
If you have a will in place, great. A will, however, is only a fundamental first step, not a comprehensive plan, point out authors of the 2017 Wealth Transfer Report from RBC Wealth Management.
“One generation’s success at building wealth does not ensure the next generation’s ability to manage wealth responsibly, or provide effective stewardship for the future,” they write. “Knowing the value (alone) does little to prepare inheritors for managing the considerable responsibilities of wealth.” Overall, the report’s authors say the number of inheritors who’ve been prepared hovers at just one in three. Read more
By Carla Hindman, Director of Financial Education, Visa Canada
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when writing your will is determining who should be named executor of your estate. Even if you’re just leaving behind household goods and a small savings account, someone – whether appointed by you or the government – must settle your affairs.
Some people consider it an honour – or duty – to take responsibility for ensuring that their loved one’s final wishes are carried out. But serving as an executor can be onerous and time-consuming, even for those with a strong financial or legal background. In a worst-case scenario, executors who act imprudently or in violation of their duties can be sued by beneficiaries and creditors. Read more
Executors often find that the probate process can be both time consuming and expensive. Planning strategies exist that may eliminate or reduce the requirement of having assets probated.
What is probate?
Probate is a legal procedure that validates a deceased’s will and confirms the executor’s authority to carry out the testator’s wishes. This provides assurance to third parties such as financial institutions and land registry offices that the executor has the power to deal with assets according to the will. Read more
By Brenda Spiering, Editor,BrighterLife.ca
Can you imagine what would happen if you died and your beneficiaries didn’t know where to find your will? Or your money?
It happens all the time according to Jim Yih, author of the personal finance blog, retirehappyblog.ca: “When someone dies, there are a whole bunch of questions that need answers but the only person with the answers is not here anymore.” You really love your family and friends, says Yih, so take the time to get your estate organized so you don’t leave them with a big mess to sort through during such an emotional time. Read more