As we embark upon 2016, many have decided to make New Year’s resolutions. Let me suggest several estate planning to-dos that shouldn’t be ignored as we are in the early days of 2016.
Update your will – since 60% of individuals do not have a current will, it may be time for you to update yours. Your relationship with some or many individuals in your previous will may have changed, from your executors, to guardians of your now 40-year-old children.
Make a list of your tangible personal property assets – Take the time to figure out who will receive what. Believe it or not it’s not the money or the real estate that your kids will fight over but your tea set, your baseball card collection or that special piece of jewellery. Creating a list of beneficiaries of tangible personal property assets will help minimize this type of familial strife.
Take a look at your RRSP or RRIF beneficiary designations -Make sure the people you want as your beneficiaries are correctly stated on your registered investments. This is also a good time to discuss charitable giving options through your RRSP/RRIF now or in your estate plan.
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If you haven’t had a chance to take care of these matters, try your best to do so. You can delegate most of these and others to your advisors, such as your accountant, lawyer, financial advisor or charitable executive.
Have a happy and healthy 2016!