What Everyone Needs, but Few Discuss: Estate Planning

Sara Moynan - Aug 30, 2023
Estate planning can help you ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you die. Leave a legacy with estate planning in North Bay.
estate planning

Estate planning might be a topic people shy away from, yet it's a critical consideration for everyone. Whether you possess substantial assets or just a few belongings, estate planning is a necessity. Surprisingly, a recent survey discovered that half of Canadians lack a will. Though contemplating estate planning might not be the most pleasant task, it's indispensable if you want your assets to be managed according to your wishes. If you're interested in understanding estate planning in North Bay, read on. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to estate planning.


Understanding Estate Planning: A Brief Overview

Despite any reservations, estate planning is crucial for everyone, regardless of the size of their estate. Your estate encompasses everything you own, including real estate, your home, furniture, life insurance, financial accounts, and personal possessions. While you can't take these possessions with you, proper estate planning, whether in North Bay or elsewhere in Canada, ensures that your assets are handled according to your preferences. Estate planning involves creating a plan in advance, outlining who will inherit your belongings upon your passing.


Key Elements of Estate Planning: Beyond the Basics

For many Canadians, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) constitutes a significant part of their estate. CPP is available to all Canadians, but the amount you receive hinges on your average annual earnings and contributions. In the event of your passing as a CPP contributor, your estate receives a one-time death benefit payment of $2,500, applied for by the executor or administrator.


Another inheritable financial instrument is the registered retirement savings plan (RRSP). In the absence of a named beneficiary, the RRSP becomes part of your estate. However, estate planning isn't confined to financial assets alone. Digital assets, personal property such as vehicles and furniture, as well as collectibles like antiques and art, should also be included. If you own a secondary residence or vacation property, these holdings should be incorporated into your estate planning strategy.


Designating Key Individuals: Roles and Responsibilities

Estate planning is personalized, as each family situation differs. It encompasses various key roles, each with specific responsibilities:

  1. Executor: The person responsible for carrying out the instructions outlined in your will, managing your estate, paying off debts, filing taxes, and distributing assets to beneficiaries as per your wishes.
  2. Trustee: This individual manages any trusts you may have established in your will, ensuring that the assets within the trust are managed and distributed according to the terms you've set forth.
  3. Legal Guardian: If you have minor children, a legal guardian is appointed to care for and make decisions on behalf of the children until they reach the age of majority.
  4. Attorney for Personal Care: This role is relevant in situations where you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself. The attorney for personal care is responsible for making healthcare and personal decisions on your behalf.
  5. Attorney for Property: Similar to the attorney for personal care, this individual is responsible for managing your financial affairs if you become incapacitated.


Continuous Process and Conclusion

Estate planning is an ongoing process, emphasizing the importance of regularly updating your plan. Your estate is a gift to your family, so keeping your plan current ensures your intentions are honored.


Estate Planning in North Bay: Secure Your Legacy

Estate planning in North Bay is imperative if you want to ensure your assets are handled as you wish after your passing. Although the future may be uncertain, your estate's fate doesn't have to be. Don't postpone taking action. Book an appointment with our team at CI Assante Wealth Management to explore trust and estate planning options.