50% of Canadians don’t have a will plan in place and there is a high chance that your finances will be misinterpreted if you do not have a will. Most people do not want to think about their death but planning a will can help outline how they would like to distribute the assets. One in five Canadians who received a family inheritance say there was a conflict with other family members over that division of the assets. With 28% of baby boomers not having a will and 88% of Canadians with at least one sibling without a will there is a strong possibility of conflict over the assets and inheritance.
A few things to consider:
Starting with appraising the home, cottage and jewelry as they are considered property assets will give you a better understanding of the value. With the value known you are able to have a better sense of the distribution. Communicating with family members and understanding their feelings associated with the property will allow you to understand their sentiment.
In Canada money received from an inheritance is not considered taxable, but a deceased person’s estate has to pay taxes on any income before the money is distributed. This includes investment income so it is a good idea to review these assets with an adviser to determine the value and tax implications.
Small business owners should have a succession plan that will outline the transfer of ownership or selling the business to ensure a smooth transition. It is important to have a plan in place when it is time to transfer ownership of your business to someone else as you want the business to succeed in the future.
Your assets will be assessed by a dollar amount. Memories make items more valuable than any dollar amount so considering emotions when distributing assets is important.
Having a will in place will allow you to ensure your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.
Author: Pattie Lovett-Reid