Estate Planning Checklist
We can’t avoid the inevitable, but proper planning can help you provide for your family, make it easier for others to wrap up your affairs, pass on your business or farm to the next generation, or leave a lasting gift to a favourite charity.
In short, you can take comfort in knowing you’ve put your financial affairs in order, so everything you’ve worked a lifetime to build will be managed according to your wishes.
Setting your priorities
- Have you specified how your assets are to be distributed?
- Will there be a source of income for your family when you die?
- Will there be a source of income if you are disabled?
- Do you know what your income will be at retirement?
- Do you know what the tax exposure is on your estate?
- Do you know how any taxes will be paid?
Taking an inventory of your estate
- Are all your important papers together?
- Does your executor know where they are?
- Do you have a will?
- Do you need / have a trust agreement?
- Do you have a buy-sell agreement for your business?
- Do you have a current net worth statement?
- Have you chosen your executor?
- Does this person know of your choice?
- Have you explained your expectations?
- Have you made funeral plans?
- Have you discussed them with your family?
- Have you had a family meeting to talk about your estate plan?
- Has your family met your professional advisors?
- Does your family know who you’ve appointed as your executor?
- Is your life insurance beneficiary information up to date?
Adapted with permission from the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE) Estate Planning Checklist.