It may seem crazy but when you die, there are still paperwork and matters associated with your death that need to be taken care of.
You can make this simple for your loved ones if you engage in end-of-life financial planning as you get older. You can set these things up at any time in your life and then check up on your plans every year or during any life-changing event to keep them updated.
Plan and Prepay for Your Funeral
Too often, people leave funeral planning to loved ones they leave behind, which can mean paying more than they should for services as inflation creeps in each year. It also puts an extra burden on family members at the time of death, when all they want to do is grieve.
The average cost of a funeral in Canada is over $ 10 000. The government will make a one-time $ 2 500 payment….if you qualify for it.
One of the best ways to not only save money on your funeral but also save your family from having to fight it out is to plan and pay for your funeral yourself in advance. Once you do it, send those who need it the information so that they know what to do upon your death.
Make a Will
Sadly, about 40 percent of people die without any will , causing families to fight it out and waste time and money. To protect all your hard work, get a lawyer or a notary to set up your will for you.
If you die intestate -i.e. without a will-, your estate will be handled and distributed by your province of residence, according to the laws of that province. It also means appointing an estate trustee with the associated costs and delays.
Unlike in the US, living, revocable trusts don’t exist as such in Canada. The estate still has to go through probate, even if a trust was created in-vivo.
Check Up Your Insurance(s)
Always check up on your insurance to make sure it’s still active. There are times when people have kept paying by an auto deduction for insurance that is not even good now.
Name Your Beneficiaries
Speaking of insurance, make sure that you named a beneficiary -or several- on each policy that you have.
If the policy doesn’t have a beneficiary, the amount will be paid out to your estate. That could make things more costly and complicated for your loved ones.
Get an Advance Medical Directive and an Enduring Power of Attorney
Advance medical directives are a legal option for capable adults to make their wishes known for their future health care treatment decisions. It can include a do not resuscitate order. An advance medical directive also formally names a substitute decision-maker in the event you become incapacitated.
A power of attorney is a legal document you can use to appoint someone to make financial and legal decisions for you. The person you appoint is called an attorney. An enduring power of attorney continues if you become mentally incapable, unlike a general power of attorney.
You can name several attorneys and they needn’t be family members. You can also name a lawyer or a trust company.
Without an enduring power of attorney, your loved ones will have to apply in court -and pay for- to be appointed as your committee of estate.
Keep a List of Your Accounts and Property
Create a file that lists all your accounts and property so that it’s easy for your family and the probate attorney to access what they need.
Keep All Documents Together
Set up a file that includes your wills, insurance documents, and other essential information all in one spot to be easily accessed in the case of your death.
Your family will be thankful that you took care of these issues for them before your death. You can make everything a lot more emotionally tolerable if you plan everything and get all the documents together so that your family members know what to do.