Why do you invest your money? My guess is so you don’t have to stay up at night worrying about it. Money makes a difference in your life. You need it to protect yourself and your loved ones.
But who will protect your family and your money when you are gone?
Everyone can remember when an uncle or aunt died without a will. You saw what happened to your relatives. It was a costly learning experience that may still have painful memories.
Your money and your family may also be at risk. All it takes is a bad estate plan.
Sure, you may think a bad estate plan is better than no plan. A bad estate plan is good for the tax department and court lawyers. It is never good for your family. It is a bad investment that too many people make. Only your family really suffers and regrets your failure to make a proper estate plan.
You work hard for your money. So invest in professional estate advice to create a proper estate plan. If you think you don’t need help, see if you can answer these 12 estate planning questions.
Estate Planning Quiz
Answer either Yes or No to each question. Count the “Yes” answers.
Are you sure you don’t need professional advice to get the right answers?
12 Estate Planning Questions You Need to Answer
- Do you know who should be the beneficiary of your RRSP, RRIF, annuities, life insurance policies, and tax-free savings accounts?
- Is putting assets into joint ownership with your relatives a good idea?
- Should you make bank accounts or your family home jointly-owned?
- Do you have a simple probate tax saving plan you can follow?
- Are you sure you have the best succession plan for your business?
- Is your will up to date with the right executors and backups?
- Have you set up a trust in your will for minor children?
- Did you set up a trust for beneficiaries with special needs?
- Have you provided for ex-spouses and your common law spouses?
- Is your cohabitation or prenuptial agreement still valid?
- Have you got the right kind of life insurance?
- Is your will up to date and can you find the original?
If this were a game, 7/10 correct answers may be a good score. In real life, however, one mistake can be a tragedy for your family.
It’s never too early to write your will. Get a professionally prepared will and help avoid real tragedies for your loved ones.
Keep Your Promises
Didn’t you promise this was the year you would get around to:
- making a will;
- getting powers of attorney; and
- figuring out what happens to your business when you are gone?
Learn more about estate planning by reading my free ebook, Estate Planning: 7 Keys to Success. Visit www.EstateTherapy.com.
Edward Olkovich (BA, LLB, TEP, and C.S.) is an Ontario lawyer, nationally recognized author and estate expert. He is a Toronto based Certified Specialist in Estates and Trusts. Edward has practiced law since 1978 and is the author of Executor Kung Fu: Master Any Estates in Three Easy Steps. Visit www.ExecutorSchool.com. © 2013