Posted: 15 Dec '15
Estate Planning: Is it Too Late to Make Changes?
Estate planning is a necessary task for everyone, regardless of net worth or financial circumstances. Financial planning is just as essential for people who have substantial assets as it is for those who have only debt. In either case, you must have a strategy in place to address your financial plans should something happen to you.
When it comes to financial planning and estate planning in Edmonton, the earlier you start, the better. However, it’s never too late to consult an estate planner to start putting plans together. The two professionals you should plan to visit are your insurance broker and later your estate lawyer. Below are a few tips to get you started with successful estate planning.
1. Don’t Put It Off
The sooner you begin planning, the easier the process will be for you and your loved ones. If you have young children, estate planning is a must. Consider what assets you want to pass on to your dependents in the event of your death, and decide how you want any assets, debts, and insurance benefits to be distributed and managed and by whom.
2. Talk to Your Loved Ones
Before making an appointment with an estate planning lawyer, you should consider a few important details. Gather any necessary financial information, including debts, assets, and insurance policies. You may also want to speak with family members and friends about any important wishes you want carried out in the event of your death - such as details about your will and testament, guardianship of young children, and the reasons behind your decisions.
3. Get Your Documents in Order
Consult with an estate planning, Edmonton lawyer to identify the different documents you’ll need to have in place. Such documents may include:
- Your will
- A durable power of attorney
- Life insurance policy information
- Patient advocate designation
The above are the four basic documents that will ensure your wishes are honored if something happens to you.
4. Understand Your Needs
Several factors in your life will determine what your needs are in regards to estate planning in Edmonton. Experts advice having at least a basic will, a life insurance plan, a patient advocate designation, and a durable power of attorney. Even if you don’t have many assets to protect, having these four estate-planning components in place will ensure your estate is distributed according to your wishes. Speak to your two professionals, your insurance broker and your estate planning lawyer about tailoring a basic estate plan to your individual needs.