A 5-Step Estate Planning Checklist

By October 30, 2023 Advisor, Blog, Consumer, News
Senior couple doing estate planning with Advisor

Estate planning, though sometimes overlooked, is a fundamental aspect of managing the wealth and possessions you’ve accumulated. It goes beyond tangible and monetary assets. It embodies your values, beliefs, and hopes for the future well-being of your loved ones. Don’t just see it as a distribution of wealth, but recognize it as part of your legacy and vision for the ones you love.

At its core, estate planning is an act of foresight and consideration. It’s about visualizing a time when you may no longer be around, and setting mechanisms in place to ensure that your intentions for the welfare of your family or dependents are carried out seamlessly. This forward-thinking process helps prevent possible legal complications or financial disputes.


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Here are the five steps you need to implement estate planning properly:

Step 1: Identify Your Goals and Wishes

Setting clear objectives for your estate is a significant endeavour that goes well beyond simple finances. For instance, deciding the guardianship for minor children is not just about logistics. This choice represents who you trust to offer your children love, care, and guidance, much like you would if you were present. Similarly, when you choose to donate to charitable causes, it’s not merely a financial gift. It symbolizes your core principles and reflects your lasting impact on the world.

On a more personal note, decisions that relate to your own preferences with regard to matters like end-of-life care or funeral arrangements, are more than just making plans. These decisions act as a mirror to your values, desires, and unique personality, and ensuring these are respected when you can’t voice them. Whether specifying medical treatments you prefer or defining how you’d like to be memorialized, these choices paint an impression of who you were and what mattered most to you.

Step 2: Create a Comprehensive Inventory

Compiling a comprehensive list of your assets is an endeavour that demands you to be both organized and introspective. When you catalogue every piece of property, investment, bank balance, retirement fund, insurance policy, and even personal belongings, you’re not just tallying numbers, but charting the tangible results of your life’s work. It’s an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve achieved, the memories associated with certain items, and the potential future value or significance they might hold.

Documenting any outstanding debts or obligations is equally crucial. It’s not only about understanding where you stand financially but also ensuring that you leave behind a clean slate, sparing your loved ones from any unforeseen financial complications.

By meticulously cataloging everything you own and owe, you can help ease future processes for your family, providing them with a clear guide to follow. The act of taking out a dependable life insurance plan is a testament to a forward-thinking financial strategy that helps ensure your family’s welfare and peace of mind for the future. A reliable life insurance policy can help cushion your family against potential financial setbacks.

As a provider of Simplified Issue and No Medical Life Insurance in Canada, Canada Protection Plan streamlines the process of acquiring life insurance. Our competitive rates and diverse plan options ensure your final expenses are covered, debts aren’t passed on, and you can leave a meaningful legacy or gift for loved ones.

Step 3: Designate Beneficiaries and Executors

Your choice of beneficiaries reflects your relationships, values, and the legacies you want to uphold. It’s a nod to the people and causes that resonate most with you. When appointing an executor, it’s more than a logistical decision; it’s about entrusting your final wishes to someone you can rely on. Choosing to include secondary beneficiaries and administrators can help underscore your foresight in navigating life’s unpredictable turns. This meticulous approach can help provide clarity for your loved ones during potentially difficult moments, emphasizing your commitment to their well-being.

Skilled financial advisors and lawyers can help provide insights into the best choices for your situation. Discuss your decisions with potential beneficiaries and executors to ensure they’re willing and informed. Make sure all decisions are clearly documented, reducing possible future disputes.

Step 4: Draft Estate Planning Documents

Designating a durable power of attorney (POA) to handle financial and legal matters if you’re incapacitated is vital. With a durable POA, you’re entrusting them with tasks such as managing your bank accounts, paying bills, and even buying or selling assets. Choosing someone reliable, trustworthy, and capable of handling such responsibilities is essential.

Don’t overlook using a healthcare directive to clarify your medical choices. It is an invaluable document that dictates your medical treatment preferences when you cannot communicate or make decisions. Selecting a healthcare proxy, someone you trust to make medical decisions, is crucial. This person should intimately know your values, beliefs, and medical wishes. Discuss scenarios like life support, resuscitation, pain management, and other critical interventions. Ensuring they fully grasp your medical preferences empowers them to advocate passionately and effectively for your care in potentially challenging situations.

Step 5: Review and Update Regularly

Your estate plan should be viewed as a dynamic document, adapting to the milestones and shifts in your life. It’s crucial to revisit and update it, especially after significant life events like weddings, divorces, births, or the passing of loved ones. This ensures it always mirrors your present situation and desires. Also, remember to adjust beneficiary designations on financial accounts, insurance policies, and retirement plans to account for any changes in relationships or priorities. Engaging an attorney for these revisions is key, ensuring that all changes are not only in line with your wishes but also legally sound and enforceable.

Want to help safeguard your legacy with a robust life insurance plan? Reach out to Canada Protection Plan today. Our team specializes in crafting life insurance solutions that resonate with your aspirations and values.
Canada Protection Plan is one of Canada’s leading providers of No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance. Our mission is to provide reliable protection and compassionate service from coast to coast with easy-to-purchase life insurance, critical illness insurance and related products. Our expanding product choices will help you get the coverage and peace of mind you need for a better financial future. Canada Protection Plan products are available through over 25,000 independent insurance advisors across Canada.
Foresters and Canada Protection Plan (CPP), and their employees and life insurance representatives, do not provide, on Foresters behalf, financial, estate, legal or tax advice. The information given here is merely a summary of our understanding of current laws and regulations. Clients and prospective purchasers should consult their financial, estate, tax or legal advisor regarding their situation.

422618 CAN (10/23)

To learn more about Canada Protection Plan and our line of comprehensive No Medical and Simplified Issue life insurance solutions, call Broker Services at 1-877-796-9090 and we will be happy to assist you or put you in contact with Sales support in your region.

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