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Preparations for Estate Planning
Canadians should be aware of the numerous benefits that can be achieved by doing proper Estate Planning (EP). First, what exactly is EP?
The first thing is not to get caught up with the term “estate”, since some persons take this to mean someone who only owns real estate. It really is determining how the property you own today (i.e. anything of value) is distributed when you die.
What are some of the things you need to have and do, to prepare a proper Estate Plan?
1. Prepare a list (inventory) of all the things of value you own. These include should include things inside and outside your home.
2. Assign a current value to all the things mentioned in (1.) above.
3. Detail all investments, annuities, life insurance, group benefits, any benefits related to membership in associations, and bank accounts. Write account numbers, and the companies that hold the policy or investment. If possible detail where the originals of these documents can be located. Having a current summary of the value of these investments would be useful.
4. Make a list of all your liabilities (debts), including credit cards.
5. The names of your beneficiaries and the percentage of your estate assigned to each? (Asking the Estate Planner to help in these decisions is both unfair to the Planner, and is not advisable)
Good EP saves your family time, and a lot of money!
This column has limited space, so the information given is usually an introduction to the subject presented.
Next article – “Benefits of proper Estate Planning”
Disclaimer-This article is intended as general information, and is not intended for advice to specific individuals. Please seek the advice of a Financial Advisor, or Broker for your individual needs.
Colin Humphrey is an Independent Advisor who provides insurance solutions for individuals, families, and small businesses. You can send your questions, or contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.