When is the right time to review your will?

Key estate planning questions to consider during COVID-19 and beyond

An effective estate plan should be up-to-date and clearly lay out your wishes upon your passing. In these unprecedented times, you may be considering whether your will and estate documents still reflect your wishes. If you have a will (and many Canadians do NOT), it was likely written many years ago and could be out of date. This may be a good time to consider what will happen to your assets once you have passed. You might be asking yourself “How do I ensure my estate passes to my intended beneficiaries?”

Your wishes should be fully documented in a legally valid will to ensure they can be acted upon

What you may desire for your estate may not match the wording and instructions in your will and estate documentation. If a valid will does not exist, the courts will determine how your estate transfers to your beneficiaries and this may not match your desired distribution.

Here are some issues to consider when reviewing your will:

  • Who have you named as the primary executor and estate trustee?
    • Do they reside in the same jurisdiction as you?
    • Are they capable of handling the arduous task of acting in the role of executor?
    • Have you named an alternate if the primary executor is unable to act due to illness or prior death?
  • Are the designated beneficiaries of your life insurance and registered investment accounts (i.e. RRSP, RRIF, LIRA) consistent with the provisions of your will?
  • Have you provided in your will enough administrative powers for your executor and trustee to administer your estate effectively?
  • Does your will achieve your wishes in the most tax-efficient manner?
  • Does your will provide for, and consider, the needs and care of any minor beneficiaries or other financial dependants?

We are here to help you address these and other questions related to your estate planning needs. Please reach out to us to arrange for an Estate Consultation with our Tax & Estate Planning professionals.

You can also contact us for a copy of our Estate Record Keeper to document your key contacts and other important information to assist your executor when they may be required to act.

The opinions expressed in this report are the opinions of the author and readers should not assume they reflect the opinions or recommendations of Richardson Wealth Limited or its affiliates. Insurance services are offered through Richardson Wealth Insurance Services Limited in BC, AB, SK, MB, NWT, ON, QC, NB, NS, NL and PEI. Additional administrative support and policy management are provided by PPI Partners. Insurance products are not covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Richardson Wealth Limited is a member of Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Richardson Wealth is a registered trademark of James Richardson & Sons, Limited used under license.