When did you last review your estate plan? Every adult should review their estate planning documents on a regular basis. The 3 essential components of an estate plan include Wills, Power of Attorney, and Representation Agreement.
Four Good Reasons to Review Your Estate Plan:
- The nature of the assets comprising your estate will change over time
- Federal and provincial laws which will affect your estate will also change over time
- Your values, opinions, and objectives for your estate will evolve as your own personal circumstances change
- Other people such as your family members may have changes in their life circumstances that may change your estate planning
You should periodically review your estate assets and check with your professional advisors to learn if any significant legal changes have occurred. We recommend that you conduct this review at least once every three years.
The following checklist will help you assess whether any events have occurred in your life since the last time you reviewed your estate plan, possibly resulting in a need to meet with your advisors to update your plans.
You can complete this checklist in just a few minutes, and we recommend that you do so at least once every three years.
Life Events that mean it’s Time Review
- Marriage + Divorce;
- Purchase of a home or real property;
- Birth or Adoption of a child;
- A child attains the age of majority (19 years in BC);
- Birth of a grandchild;
- A child acquires a mental or physical disability or impairment;
- Child marries or divorces;
- A child having money problems or going bankrupt;
- Loan to a child;
- Estrangement or reconciliation with child;
- Death of child or grandchild;
- Purchase of property outside of B.C. or Canada;
- New investments or significant change in investment holdings;
- Change in life insurance;
- Purchase of an RESP or RDSP;
- Chronic illness or terminal diagnosis;
- Declining mental capacity or diagnosis of impending incapacity;
- Caregiving or providing financial support to an elderly loved one;
- Buying or selling a business;
- Creating a partnership or incorporating;
- Bringing a child into the family business;
- Death of spouse;
- Incapacity of a spouse;
- Serious illness of spouse;
- Receipt of inheritance;
- Changes to laws including tax, estate and family laws; and
- Planned giving to charities.
A well-thought-out estate plan ensures that your family is cared for should something happen to you, and that your money goes where you want it to. It’s an important pillar of managing your wealth.
Reviewing your plan at regular intervals in addition to major life events will help ensure that your legacy, both financial and otherwise, is passed on in accordance with your wishes and that your beneficiaries receive their benefits as smoothly as possible. We realize there is no one-size-fits-all estate plan and have written a blog post outlining special considerations for estate planning.The information provided above is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a lawyer or address specific situations. Your personal situation should be discussed with a lawyer. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a legal professional.