Your life is changing – is your estate plan changing with it?

Jul 13, 2021

Estate planning isn’t just about planning for death, it’s also about planning for life.

The early years

Young adults, especially those in their 20s and 30s, often feel they don’t need a Will because, “I don’t have anything.” But if you have a bank account, a credit card, a car—then you do have an estate and you should have a Will, with an appropriate executor named to deal with these assets in the event of your death. And while you’re at your estate lawyer’s office to draft that Will, you may wish to execute a power of attorney and an advance health directive.

As adults become more secure financially, they start purchasing. It could be a condo, a house or a cottage at the lake. Then your estate questions become slightly different: Is the mortgage life-insured? What are your insurance needs for life, disability, property, etc.? Do you have adequate coverage?

The relationship years

These questions become even more pressing when you enter a relationship, be it common-law or marriage. If the property was solely owned before the relationship, will it be re-registered joint with right of survivorship? Is there a marriage or cohabitation agreement? Does the Will, power of attorney and advance health directive need to be updated? In all provinces except Alberta and British Columbia, marriage revokes a Will unless a contemplation of marriage clause is included. In Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, cohabitation can revoke a Will unless a contemplation of cohabitation clause is included. If there is no Will, some provinces do not recognize a common-law partner as having rights under the laws of intestacy. Are appropriate beneficiary designations in place on insurance policies, pensions and RRSPs? Have you engaged a financial planner to help you achieve your financial goals?

Relationship breakdown

Unfortunately, it happens, and it should spur a review of your estate plan. Many of the same questions need to be answered as when entering a relationship: Is there a property settlement? This may be an important factor in updating your Will and beneficiary designations on registered plans and insurance policies.

Read more…

Recent Posts

How to build an emergency fund

An emergency isn’t something anyone wants to contemplate. But the reality is that most people encounter some sort of emergency during their lifetime, and it may be one that affects them financially. And whether a crisis is job-related, health-related or something...

Aviso Weekly Market Monitor: November 20th – November 24th

Market developments Equities: Global equity market saw mixed reactions in a week marked by a 1% rise in the S&P 500. Nvidia Corp's stock faced a downturn following news of a delayed AI chip launch, highlighting the market's sensitivity to tech sector movements....

How much do you need to save for your child’s education?

The cost of post-secondary education is on the rise. In the last decade (from 2013/14 to 2023/24), the average annual tuition fees for undergraduate degree programs in Canada rose approximately 23%, from an average of $5,767 to $7,076. It may not seem like a huge leap...

NEI Monthly Market Insights: October 2023

Long term yields spook markets in October Both equity and fixed income markets continued their fall in October as bond yields rose sharply, while heightened geopolitical uncertainty also weighed on market sentiment. In fixed income markets, government bond returns...

Aviso Weekly Market Monitor: November 13th – November 18th

Market developments Equities: After a $2.7 trillion rally in November, spurred by speculation that the Federal Reserve might halt its hiking cycle, the S&P 500 is now trading above 4,500 and posted its third consecutive week of gains. The S&P 500, despite...

Aviso Weekly Market Monitor: November 6th – November 10th

Market developments Equities: Stocks rebounded as Treasury volatility eased, with the S&P 500 crossing the crucial 4,400 technical mark and finished the week up 1.3% to a seven-week high. Tech giants, including Microsoft and Nvidia, led gains, propelling the...