‘If you fail to plan, plan to fail.’
‘If you fail to plan, plan to fail.’ Planning for your affairs after you die isn’t easy, but it is a must for every family and essential when you own a business too. Plan to protect all that you have worked hard for.
Plan your estate and keep the peace!
- Get good advice. Depending on how complicated your affairs are a lawyer, accountant and investment adviser has the skills required to properly manage an estate. Yes, you will have to budget for this, but professionals can save you from making costly mistakes.
- Pick the right Executor. Sometimes choosing a family member too close to you causes impartiality. And let’s face it, during estate planning it is easy for emotions to run high. In a complicated situation, consider hiring a trust company.
- Get a business valuation and keep it current. There will be taxes to pay on the value of the estate, so know what it is worth. Your life and assets can change over time, so remember to review your plan too.
- Have a dual strategy. You may need to have one will for the business and have a separate one for personal assets. This may reduce probate costs.
- Buy adequate life insurance. Business estates can take up to a year (or more) to settle, tying up the funds. Insurance provides the cash for bills, taxes and other expenses.
- Protect your Executor. This position entails some liability. The estate can buy inexpensive insurance to protect the executor from financial liability insurance.
- Be careful with joint accounts to avoid probate.
- Be organized! Use an estate memo to keep inventory of financial contacts, phone numbers, passwords and any documents.
- Keep track of online information. Ensure all sites and passwords are on the memo for the Executor.
- Talk to everyone. You cannot resolve disputes from the grave; make sure everyone gets heard beforehand. Instead of feeling slighted after the fact, your family will know that they had their say. Have these conversations early and often, and know it just gets easier.
Start the conversation today. Don’t forget about those personal items; a ring, special dish or family heirloom is more important to your family than you think!
Call McDougall Insurance & Financial Broker insurance ontario at 1-800-361-0941 to talk to one of our experts, before you die.