Garton & Harris

Tips for those who resolved to get their wills in order this year

Getting finances in order is a common New Year's resolution. For British Columbia individuals and families who have resolved to consider their affairs and plan for the future in 2020, wills and estate plans are an important consideration. While it can be hard to discuss death, incapacity or the potential that tragedy may strike the family, taking things step by step can help ease the challenges of this important task.

An important first step to getting affairs in order is to simply make an appointment with an estate planning lawyer. Meetings with one's bank or financial advisor are also a good idea in this process. Speaking with professionals about options and processes can make things seem much less overwhelming at every stage in the planning process. It is also very important to have a legal advisor on hand to make sure the drafted will is legitimate.

The next step is typically information gathering. First, compile information about the beneficiaries who will be named in an estate. Next, list assets and the estimated value of each. This can include assets in bank accounts, insurance plans, collectible items and other personal property. It may also be a good idea to list digital assets, such as online accounts, and provide login information accordingly.

Planning for the future does not just mean writing wills for where property goes after one dies. Incapacity and powers of attorney should also be considered as part of this process. A British Columbia lawyer can help to clarify the documents needed to prepare and protect oneself for a variety of future potentialities.

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