Grandfather with grand kids and family

Is your will up to date?

Key questions to consider as you create your estate plan

An effective estate plan should be up-to-date and clearly lay out your wishes upon your passing. But odds are, you don’t have one. In fact a recent report indicates half of Canadians surveyed say they don’t have a will – and many of those who do haven’t updated it in years [1].

This may be a good time to consider what will happen to your assets once you have passed, and make sure you have plans in place to ensure your estate passes to your intended beneficiaries.

Your wishes should be fully documented in a legally valid will to ensure they can be acted upon. If you don’t have a will, provincial legislation will determine how your estate transfers to your beneficiaries, and this may not match your wishes.

Here are some things to consider when reviewing or creating your will:

  • Who have you named as the primary executor and estate trustee?
  • Do they reside in the same province as you?
  • Are they capable of handling the demanding task of acting in the role of executor?
  • Have you named an alternate if the primary executor is unable to act due to illness or prior death?
  • Are the designated beneficiaries of your life insurance and registered investment accounts (i.e. RRSP, RRIF, LIRA) consistent with your current wishes? Have you been careful not to name persons under the age of majority?
  • Have you provided enough administrative powers for your executor and trustee to administer your estate effectively?
  • Does your estate plan achieve your wishes in the most tax-efficient manner?
  • Does your will provide for and consider the needs and care of any minor beneficiaries or other financial dependants?

4 in 5
Canadians younger than 35 say they do not have a will. [1]

1 in 8
Canadians have a will that is out of date.

of those who haven’t written a will say they’re too young to worry about it.

say they don’t have any assets worth worrying about.

Creating a will isn’t a ‘set it and forget’ it document. Review your will once every five years, or whenever there’s a significant life development (like a marriage, job change or birth of a child). Your intentions and wishes may change as you get older and go through life – your will should reflect that.

Want to learn more?

Listen to this episode of our Conversations on Wealth podcast: “When should you review your will?

Contact your Richardson Wealth Advisor

We can help you address these, and other questions related to your estate planning needs.

Talk to a Richardson Wealth Investment Advisor to arrange for an estate consultation.

We have advisory teams across the country ready to help you build your future. Search for a wealth management professional near you today.

Get in touch with us.

We’re here to help. Send us a short message explaining what you’re looking for, and we’ll reach out to you soon.

    Please note that some information/wording in this article does not apply to Quebec clients.

    [1] Lacking the Will: Half of Canadians say they don’t have a last will and testament, including one-in-five aged 55+ – Angus Reid Institute

    Related articles

    Estate planning

    Preparing the next generation for wealth

    How do you know when (and how) to introduce the next generation to the family wealth picture? Creating a plan to navigate these complex wealth…

    6 minute read

    Estate planning

    Gifting in life: What you need to know

    Gifting in life allows you to support the people and causes you care about – gradually passing on your wealth during your lifetime.

    6 minute read

    Business owners

    The value of financial advice

    Why working with a financial advisor makes sense – now more than ever.

    6 minute read