Once you’ve created your estate plan, communicate it to your loved ones. This ensures they have the information they need to carry out your wishes.
Create an information package
Put together an information package that includes:
- a copy of your will, powers of attorney, living will, and other estate documents – plus the location of the original signed copies,
- a list of all your financial accounts, such as bank, investment and credit card accounts,
- a list of all the benefits your family members may be entitled to, such as life insurance and pensions, and
- a list and description of your debts (such as a mortgage, line of credit or loans) and your major assets (home, other real estate, investments and any collectibles such as art or jewelry that have substantial value).
Tip: Put together an information package and give copies to your executor, your spouse, adult children and anyone else who should know your estate plan.
Discuss your plan with your family
Take the time to ensure your family understands your wishes, why you’ve arranged things the way you have and any estate planning steps you’ve put in place to have your wishes carried out. A good opportunity to do this may be when you give them the information package.
Tip: Disputes can occur when family members are caught by surprise about estate plans or don’t understand the reasoning behind them.
Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca