Estate planning is an essential part of wealth management. Estate planning not only ensures that your assets are distributed pursuant to your wishes, but it ensures that such distributions are done in a tax effective manner, and that your beneficiaries are protected. Whether your current estate plan requires revisiting or whether you do not have an estate plan in place, the following are ten reasons to stop putting off your estate plan:
1. Control how your estate will be distributed
By making an estate plan, you can set out who will get what from your money, possessions and property when you die. For instance, you can provide for specific items to go to specific people or charities, or you can provide for your estate to be divided amongst certain individuals in set portions. This can be done through the use of a will, beneficiary designations in insurance policies, beneficiary designations in RRSPs or TFSAs, or through trusts. This planning can help avoid fights between family members or friends over how your estate should be divided.
If you don’t make an estate plan, all your money, possessions and property will be distributed to your next of kin in accordance with the law, and this may not be the same as your wishes.