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Canadians unprepared to assign executors, plan estates

Estate planning can be a complicated and, at times, difficult topic to broach for many Canadians. British Columbia residents are sometimes understandably uncomfortable talking about wills, the designation of executors and/or trustees and all the other elements that make up a comprehensive estate plan. However, a study commissioned by BMO Wealth Management suggests that this results in Canadians being deeply unprepared for late-life planning. 

According to the study, some 48 percent of Canadians do not have an existing will, and 40 percent of heirs have not even discussed their parents' estate plans at all. Coupled with the increasing diversity of the Canadian family model (including blended families that include step parents and children from former marriages), this is a disturbing trend that could leave estate holders and their families in a tenuous legal position. Many experts agree that having these conversations early with family can help ease potential emotional and financial ramifications later in life.

An up-to-date will represents a comprehensive list of individuals who will fill important roles in the estate process: executors, powers of attorney and trustees among them. There are also a litany of options available to help shelter an estate from undue taxation when the estate holder passes away. This can be a complicated process, but thankfully support is available. 

Here in British Columbia, there are a variety of options available for estate holders to seek this support. The services of an experienced estate attorney can help an estate holder assign executors, trustees and beneficiaries while creating an up-to-date will. This in turn can help families be prepared for any eventuality in the future. 

Source: insurance-journal.ca, "Canadians' estate planning efforts fall short", March 27, 2017

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