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25.  Estate Planning - Getting Organized Thumbnail

25. Estate Planning - Getting Organized

Welcome to Episode 25 of Retire Me!

This week, we kick off a 5 part series on Estate Planning.   Over the next 5 episodes, we will lay out the basics of estate planning.  At the end of the series I will hold a webinar to walk through some real life planning examples.  For the webinar, we will bring back our favorite retirees, Dave and Sue and walk through some estate planning blunders and successes.

The format of this series is inspired by a webinar that I saw a couple of weeks ago hosted by Jamie Golembek from CIBC - I've linked to the episode here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOgS7hzi6zc&t=219s

Only 1/2 of Canadians have a will.  Only 1/3 of Canadians keep that will up-to-date.  And only 1/4 of Canadians have a power of attorney.

Estate planning is an essential financial planning step, but it is often procrastinated or outright ignored by many.  Understandably, people don't want to think about their own mortality - so they often ignore this planning.  

But, think of estate planning as your opportunity to write a love-letter to your family members and/or charities that you care about the most.  A proper estate plan can make sure that your wealth is transferred smoothly to your family in the way you intend it.  It can preserve your privacy.  It can reduce the amount of taxes that you need to pay to the CRA.  More than anything else, good estate planning can save your loved ones heartache and frustration that comes in the absence of a good estate plan.

The first step in any good estate plan (or refreshing an old estate plan) is getting organized and creating a family net worth statement.

For a retiree, you will want to create an inventory of your:

Assets:  House, Vehicles, Cottages/Condos, Investment Accounts, Business Interests, Life Insurance Policies, and Pensions, Art and Collectibles

Liabilities:  Mortgages or reverse mortgages, lines of credit, other debts

The process of getting an inventory of your "stuff" will allow you to consider several key things:

1) What you want to do with your stuff in the event you pass away?  Who do you want to benefit in your estate?

2) Who is capable of helping you with the process of managing your estate?  On the planning side you will want to engage your lawyer, accountant, and financial advisor.  

3) Should I consider a corporate executor?  If your situation is complex, you may consider hiring a trust company to either take over the role of executor for your estate, or hire them to help your executor.

Thank you for tuning in this week!

Other links discussed:

Angus Reid Survey

The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning by Douglas Gray


Disclaimer - This podcast is for informational purposes only.  Please consult with a financial advisor familiar with your unique financial situation before making any decisions.  Nothing in this broadcast constitutes a solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities.  Any mentioned rates of return are historical or hypothetical in nature and are not a guarantee of future returns.  Mark Walhout is the owner and lead financial advisor at Walhout Financial and an Investment Fund Representative at Investia Financial Services Inc.