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Porter Ramsay Blog

Why estate planning conversations with family are important

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2021 | Wills And Estates |

End-of-life planning is an important legal and financial planning process. However, that does not mean it is easy. The topic of wills, estates, and other end-of-life issues can be very overwhelming and emotional, and some may be tempted to put off important conversations until it is too late.

Here are some of the reasons why having end-of-life conversations is important for your family:

  • Clarifying priorities and intentions: No one wants to be surprised or uncertain when they read a parent’s will, POA, or other documents. Knowing what someone’s wishes are is especially important for those named power of attorney, as they may be in a position to make some challenging decisions.
  • Avoiding legal issues: If an estate is left intestate (that is, without a will), then British Columbia estate law will determine its distribution. This can lead to some conflict and complexities, increasing the time and money needed for legal costs. Doing this work and having conversations in advance can prevent these issues.
  • Tax planning: The tax implications of one’s estate is also something that is important to explore. In some cases, trusts or gifting while alive can be considered to lessen the burden from estate taxes.

While decisions are ultimately individual, the specifics of an estate plan can impact everyone in the family. Making sure everyone implicated is fully aware of the decisions made is key to preventing conflict and providing clarity. Discussions with an estate planning attorney as well as family is key to exploring all options and ensuring decisions are properly documented in a will and other estate planning documents.