Make Estate Planning One of Your New Year’s Resolutions

December 29, 2014 Hull & Hull LLP Estate Planning 0 Comments

With 2015 quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions.

One of those resolutions should be to review and update your estate plan (or to create one if you do not already have one in place). While estate planning may not be at the forefront of your mind, your loved ones will thank you for establishing a plan today that makes your wishes clear and uncomplicated for them later down the road.

Your estate plan may need to change as your life changes. As a result, it may be necessary to review the following aspects of your estate plan to ensure they remain up to date:

Your Personal Situation

  • Did you get married or divorced (while you may or may not have intended a change, some provinces legislate changes in these circumstances)?
  • Did you have a child or adopt a child (you may wish to appoint a guardian)?
  • Did you have grandchildren? If so, are they included in your Will?
  • Have you moved to a different province?
  • Has there been a death in the family?

Your Financial Situation (assets and liabilities)

  • Do you have an up to date list of your assets (including account numbers and institution details)?
  • Have there been significant changes to your net worth?
  • Have there been changes to the nature of your assets? (i.e. the sale or purchase of real estate or a business)

Your Digital Assets (i.e. your online accounts: email accounts, social network accounts)

  • Do you have a list of your online accounts and passwords?
  • Are the log in details stored with your estate plan for easier access?

Your Will

  • Would you like changes to your chosen estate trustees?
  • Would you like changes to your specific bequests / beneficiaries?
  • Are all of your assets addressed in your Will or if appropriate outside your Will by designation or different manners of ownership?

Your Beneficiary Designations (i.e. Insurance and Retirement Plans)

  • Are your designations up to date?

Your Power of Attorney for Property

  • Would you like changes to your appointed attorney?

Your Power of Attorney for Personal Care

  • Would you like changes to your appointed attorney?
  • Do you wish to include an instruction regarding your choice on heroic measures?

It is important to reflect upon the changes have occurred over the past year (or since you last updated your estate plan) and how they may affect to your overall estate plan. If you fail to incorporate significant changes, your wishes may not be properly documented or carried out.

Make estate planning one of your New Year’s resolutions!

Thank you for reading,

Ian Hull

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