Planning your estate

Estate planning is an important part of life. It helps ensure that your final wishes will be carried out as you intended. Here are some key steps that you should take:

  • Create a will and choose an executor to handle your estate once you have passed on. Confirm that the person you’ve chosen understands what is expected and is willing to take on the task;
  • Identify who your beneficiary or beneficiaries will be and what they will receive;
  • Make a list of your assets and investments, including where your accounts are, and make sure that your executor knows where this list is located;
  • Make a list of other financial arrangements, such as credit cards, debts, fraternities or associations that you belong to where you might pay an automatic membership fee or be entitled to death benefits, and
  • Consider life insurance. An insurance professional can answer any questions you have.

Rules governing wills depend on your province or territory. Be sure to find out what you need to know about the rules in your area.

Remember to review and update your estate plan and will regularly, especially if you experience a major life change or event such as having a child.

There are some other important topics for you to consider:

  • Choose a power of attorney for property to make financial decisions for you if there is a period during your lifetime when you do not have the capacity to make your own decisions, and
  • Choose a power of attorney for personal care who can step in if, at some point, you do not have the capacity to make your own decisions about your health and well-being.