Estate planning is the process of structuring your personal and financial affairs so that, upon death, your assets are distributed according to your wishes. A properly prepared estate plan will help minimize income taxes and probate costs, provide for charitable donations and other gifts, ensure that your family does not face financial hardship and, in order to avoid any future conflicts, clearly define your wishes regarding the final distribution of your assets.
Have you planned for what would happen if you were no longer here to take care of things? While there are a number of very human reasons for avoiding the issue - ranging from 'I don't have time' to 'it's depressing' - estate planning is too important to ignore.
Without careful planning, your estate may be tied up in the courts for months or even years. The government could end up collecting more taxes than is necessary. And, most importantly, how your legacy is disbursed may be decided for you.
An estate plan forms a key component of your overall wealth management strategy. At York Financial Group we have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the estate planning process. Every Canadian adult - regardless of financial situation - should have an up-to-date estate plan that outlines the following:
- Who is responsible for distributing your assets.
- Who gets what and when they get it.
- Who will take care of your children.
- Who will manage any trust accounts.
- Who will make financial and medical decisions if you're incapacitated.
To take control of your estate, we suggest the following five steps:
- Determine your estate planning goals.
- With our assistance determine which estate planning tools fit your situation best.
- Choose the people you would like to speak for you.
- Start raising estate-planning issues with your family.
- Keep your estate plan up to date.