Ask the Expert
As a trusted Certified Financial Planner & Elder Planning Counselor, I help Seniors navigate the options for constructing estate plans that maximum benefits and minimize complications!
In some cases, having a will may not be enough. We are all aware that family dynamics are becoming increasingly diverse, and when it comes to planning your legacy, things are rarely as simple as they once were. Even the most straight forward estate can benefit from avoiding probate and all the associated time, energy, and costs.
There are many different options available to carefully construct an estate plan to provide maximum benefits and minimize complications for your family members.
The potential for conflict over inheritance has been growing as the number of blended families increase. Today’s parents may have second or even third families. In such cases, there may be different perceptions of the obligation to provide an inheritance for younger children in addition to the older, more established children.
Depending on how complex your wishes are, you may want to consider the impact that the Wills Variation Act could have on your estate plans.
WHAT IS THE WILLS VARIATION ACT?
In a nutshell, the British Columbia Wills Variation Act is the statute which permits a surviving spouse or children to contest a will on the basis that it does not make adequate provision for the claimant. The class of eligible claimants includes the surviving spouse, common-law spouse, same-sex spouse and both the natural and adopted children of the deceased.
Using insurance contracts with products like segregated funds, GICs, or annuities in your estate plan can be hugely beneficial for many reasons.
Named beneficiaries through an insurance contract will normally bypass probate, therefore save on probate fees. Probate and estate administration fees can be as much as 1.5% of the overall estate and, during probate, assets are frozen. When you name a beneficiary, you bypass probate and also relieve your family and your executor of the potential burden of a lengthy and complicated process. It is worth noting, a will is a public document once it has been probated. So for people that want their wishes kept private, they may not want all of their assets transferring through their will.
WHAT IS AN ANNUITY?
An annuity is a financial product used as an income stream. An annuity settlement can be set up to ensure your loved one receives a lifetime income as opposed to a lump sum. Different allocations can be used for different beneficiaries— confidentially.
Investing through segregated funds gives you growth potential while protecting the value of your investment with maturity and death benefit guarantees. Alternately, something as simple as setting up a GIC through insurance contracts gives you the ability to name beneficiaries and avoid probate.
No matter how simple or complicated your situation, meeting with a Certified Financial Planner and discussing your options can help ensure that those wishes become reality with ease
Dale and her team are just a call away! Book an appointment at 250-744-3301 or visit the Prosperity Planning portal listing here on GoWestShore.