An estate consists of property of any kind, insurance policies and investments possessed at death, minus debt owed. Unfortunately many Canadians with modest holdings fail to have an estate plan in place. They mistakenly assume an estate plan to be expensive, complicated and unnecessary in their case.
Scott Furlong Ford Estate clients have found that an estate plan provides them with peace of mind knowing that important final details have been considered and will be handled in accordance with their wishes. This pre-planning shows respect for loved ones helping to avoid conflict and alleviate extra stress, for them, when the time comes.
The most basic level of estate planning is a will. This document indicates how you want assets distributed at death and takes into consideration the essential details. Without a will there is no opportunity to designate guardianship for minors, provide for loved ones, or have your final wishes honoured. Provincial law will handle the dissolution of what is left of your estate after taxation and legal fees.
Other estate planning considerations include:
- How to choose an executor or administrator and qualities required
- Ensuring ongoing care of loved ones
- Special needs beneficiaries
- Plans to minimize taxation
- Health care directives
- Power of attorney
- Preservation of assets for children receiving their inheritance later
- Trusts and living trusts
- Appointment of trustees
- Rental properties
- Pension plans
- Stocks, bonds, bank accounts, investments
- Life insurance policies
- Funeral wishes and costs
- Legal fees and how to minimize them
- Succession planning for business owners
- Will and planning changes in case of death, divorce or conflict involving appointed beneficiaries
- Ways to minimize confusion and family conflict after your death
Scott Furlong Ford Will and Estate Lawyers can help you begin this important document where you are and with the information you have right now. Our expert estate lawyers collaborate with our clients, health care providers, tax specialists, and other professionals as required to ensure the standard of living you intend, the greatest value, the least tax and the most benefits to your loved ones when the time comes.