Estate planning: 10 things you need to know – Moneyville.ca

Posted: August 29, 2012 in articles, insurance, personal finance, wordpress
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Estate planning: 10 things you need to know – Moneyville.ca.

Talking to your family about estate planning now can save trouble later after you're gone.

Many Canadians haven’t taken the most basic estate planning step which is writing a Will. They should.

Without a Will, your estate doesn’t automatically go to your spouse and children, but ends up being distributed according to the rules of your province For example,Ontario’s rules differ from those in Quebec and Manitoba. In addition, without proper planning, almost half the value of your assets could disappear to cover capital gains taxes and probate fees.

Here are 10 steps that can help ensure your final wishes are carried out simply and smoothly.

#1: List your assets

The first thing is to figure out what you have. So prepare an inventory of your assets. A net worth calculator can help you through the process.  The list should include your home, vacation properties and investments such as RRSPs or RRIFs. It should also include bank accounts, pensions, personal property like cars, boats or jewellery and the value of any insurance policies.

You should also list any debts that relate to these assets – such as loans or mortgages – and record the account numbers and institutions where the debts are held.

#2: Who gets your stuff?

Once you have a picture of what you have, you can figure out how to distribute it. In addition to family members, you may also wish to recognize other people and charitable causes as part of your legacy. In the case of charitable donations, a professional advisor can help you structure these to maximize their value for the recipient and for your estate.

Read the rest of the list…. Estate planning: 10 things you need to know – Moneyville.ca.

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