Estate Planning

If you have become disabled, it may have an affect on your estate plans. There are many issues you should discuss with your advisor to ensure your financial house is in order.

The Will

Everyone should have a valid and up-to-date Will in place. Without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to provincial intestacy law which may not provide the distribution of assets that you intended. This Will planning checklist will guide you through various things to consider before making your Will.

Here is a link to a basic Will: Last Will and Testament

A lawyer should be consulted when a Will is being considered. There are legal and family issues that need to be addressed if this route is taken.

If you have become disabled you may be thinking differently about how you want your estate to be distributed. A frank discussion with family members and consultation with a lawyer is highly recommended. You may decide that you would prefer to distribute some assets, perhaps a family cottage, to family members while you are still alive. If you intend to make Inter Vivos (while alive) distributions to persons other than your spouse you should seek tax advice since these will most likely be deemed dispositions for tax purposes and could have tax impacts. This estate planning checklist provides insight to the areas you should give attention to when planning your estate. While making important decisions about your estate, use this personal record keeper to gather specific information that can be shared with your loved ones including your Executor or Executrix.

Life Insurance

An important part of estate planning is life insurance. The proceeds from a life insurance policy can be used for settling estate debts, making sure dependents are taken care of, making charitable donations, etc. You should review your current life insurance coverage and your anticipated needs. The fact that you have a disability does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to take out more life insurance. The decision to provide life insurance is based on life expectancy and your disability may be such that your life expectancy is not affected or only minimally impacted. You should speak to your advisor and a qualified insurance professional to determine your needs and underwriting status.