You might be a zombie…if you mindlessly expect:
- the government to provide for your family when you die
- your family will respect and understand your final wishes
- you don’t know why you need a will and powers of attorney
Don’t walk around like the walking dead. Instead, use this checklist to assess your risk of being a Zombie.
Zombie Risk Checklist
Your loved ones are at risk because you have no estate plan. Use this checklist to find out if your loved ones are protected.
1. My loved ones know where my up-to-date will is stored.
2. I have backup executors or guardians named for minor children in my will.
3. I have legally appointed someone to handle decisions for me if I can’t.
4. I have a strategy in place to save probate and income taxes.
5. I have provided for loved ones with special needs.
6. I have a plan to deal with my business if I die.
7. I regularly review my estate plan to achieve my goals.
8. My RSPs and TFSAs are properly designated to avoid overpaying income taxes.
9. Life insurance has been arranged to pay for my children’s need.
If you have not answered “Yes” to all the questions, you need to take action.
Do Estate Planning for Those You Love
Zombies don’t have feelings. Zombies don’t need an estate plan.
Do you care about the people in your life? Then find the time to make a plan.
Imagine your estate as another word for your loved ones. If so, you’ll realize that taking simple estate planning steps will protect those you love.
Planning can avoid problems like an unnecessary estate sale. This can jeopardize everyone close to you. Let me explain this danger and how you can avoid it.
Estate Sales Are Dangerous
“Estate Sale” – what do you think of when you see these words? Most people expect a bargain. Families must sell assets to pay bills, taxes or to support themselves.
If you plan now, your loved ones can avoid an estate sale. I know you can avoid much pain and expense with a little planning. You can create your own estate plan for those you love. Start by asking yourself these questions:
• What decisions must I make?
– Who gets everything? (beneficiaries)
– Who should be in charge? (attorneys and executors)
– Who should act as my backups? (back up beneficiaries, attorneys and executors)
• What action do I need to take?
– Find an estate lawyer
– Book a consultation
– Sign your will and powers of attorney
You can find more answers by downloading a copy of Estate to the Heart. I wrote this easy-to-read guide to plan wills and estates for your loved ones. It is filled with practical checklists to avoid Zombie estate planning.
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. Ed’s law firm website is MrWills.com © 2014