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Porter Ramsay Blog

Wills and estates: Planning can be done bits at a time

A financial plan should always include an estate plan, professionals say. Some British Columbia residents, however, put off anything to do with wills and estates for as long as possible and that may be a grave error — pun intended. No one enmeshed in the realities of living wants to think about death, but writing an estate plan doesn’t have to be difficult. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even have to be done all at once.

So that it doesn’t seem to be so daunting, estate planning can be broken down into steps, the first step being making a list of all the assets one has. The list should include everything worth $100 or more and include things like bank accounts, life insurance policies and retirement funds. The same should be done with debts, including a mortgage and credit card balances.

Other steps could include writing down charities should the testator wish to leave money to them and also any memberships the testator has such as health clubs, associations, etc. An estate plan also needs to include beneficiaries, so some though should be given to them before making a final decision. The same goes for naming an executor of the estate which should be someone trustworthy and willing to take on the responsibility.

Talking to professionals about wills and estates prior to getting started may make the process easier. One of those people might be a British Columbia lawyer experienced in estate planning. An estate plan should be comprehensive, so it’s crucial to know what documents are needed to make the plan as complete as possible.