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Estate Plans

Estate Planning Checklist

An estate planning checklist is a good place to begin the preparation or update of your estate plan. It is a starting point for discussion with your lawyer and perhaps other family members. They following checklist illustrates some of the topics that should be considered.

Checklist Item Yes No
Have you prepared and signed a will?    
Has your will been reviewed in the past 5 years?    
Have you prepared and signed a continuing financial power of attorney?    
Has your continuing power of attorney been reviewed in the past 5 years?    
Have you prepared and signed a health care directive or living will?    
Has your health care directive been reviewed in the past 5 years    
Have you informed your executors and powers of attorney that you have named them for these roles?    
Have you named a backup executor and backup power of attorney?    
Do you have a document that lists the names of your professional advisors (financial advisor, lawyer and accountant)?    
Do you have a document that lists the location of your financial records, will, power of attorney, health care directive, investment accounts, bank accounts, income tax returns, safety deposit box and insurance policies?    
Do your spouse, children and executor know the location of these documents?    
Have you named beneficiaries for your life insurance policies, annuities, segregated fund investments, pension plans, RRSPs, RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs and/or DPSPs.    
Are your beneficiary designations up to date?    
Have you discussed strategies with your financial advisor, accountant and lawyer to minimize taxes and pass on assets to your heirs?    
Have you estimated the cost of funeral expenses, executor compensation, probate fees and legal fees to settle your estate?    
If you own a business, do you have a succession plan in place?    
If you are married or cohabitating have you taken steps to protect assets that you brought into the relationship?    
Have you provided for all dependents including minor children?    
Have you prepared and updated a personal inventory of assets, financial records and computer passwords for sites your spouse, children or executor may have to access?    
Is your estate plan up to date?    

For a printer-friendly version go to: Estate Planning Checklist - PDF Document

Disclaimer: This checklist should not be taken as legal or financial advice. Consult your professional advisors when creating your estate plan.

 

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