Written by Matthew Sears, BComm., CFP | Associate Consultant
May 18, 2015
Estate planning can be difficult to discuss but it’s an important part of your overall financial plan that should be explored openly – and early – with your new partner. Regardless of your net worth, having a plan in place will give you peace of mind knowing you’ve made your best efforts to ensure your family’s future well being.
So once you’ve said “I do,” consider these four estate planning must-dos:
1. Drafting Wills
Whether or not you’ve accumulated a large sum of wealth, you should execute a basic Will that reflects your wishes. It’s often assumed that if you were to die without a Will, your estate would simply pass on to your spouse. But this would only happen for assets that are held jointly with right of survivorship. If you die without a Will, or intestate, your provincial government decides how your assets will be divided – not you. Intestacy does not take into consideration any intentions you have for the distribution of your estate.
Besides determining the beneficiaries of your estate, some important things to consider when drafting your Will are:
- Naming the person who will be responsible for administering your affairs upon your death (executor, trustee, liquidator or institution)
- Naming a guardian for any minor children
- Expressing any limits on the use of your assets
If a prenuptial agreement was signed, the terms of that agreement should also be addressed in the Will. Your estate plan should reflect the prenuptial agreement to ensure it’s carried out in the way it was intended.Read more »