No one wants to think about what happens after they’re gone or if they’re no longer able to control their own affairs. It’s human nature of course, none of us want to face our own mortality let alone plan ahead for what happens when we’re gone.
But here’s the thing, by failing to plan ahead and getting your affairs in order, you run the risk of your wishes not being fulfilled or worse, leaving your family in disarray. That’s why forward planning is so key.
And yet despite its importance a staggering number of Canadians haven’t made any provisions for what will happen to their estate after they’re gone. In fact a recent survey suggests that as many as 51% of the population have no last Will and Testament, while only one-third (35%) say they have a Will that is up to date.
But as the old adage goes, if you’re failing to plan, then you are planning to fail.
“People don't want to talk about their death. They don't want to talk about what happens if they're mentally incapacitated and are unable to make their own decisions. It is a scary thing to think about”, says Nima Rohani,an Associate at Victoria based estate specialist McConnan Bion O'Connor & Peterson. “What's even scarier though is when you are in that situation and your family's left holding the bag.”
Rohani says that often the people who end up paying for your lack of planning are your loved ones. Whether it’s because they don’t know what your final wishes were or have differing opinions over how you wanted your affairs to be handled, even the closest knit of families can wind up divided by your death or incapacitation.
Additionally, it’s not just the emotional toll that makes forward planning so important, according to Rohani your loved ones could also wind up footing the financial bill too as it doesn’t matter if you're leaving behind a small fortune or a modest sum, in these scenarios everyone loses because it’s the estate that’s forced to foot the bill for the legal action. “If you have a small estate and you're fighting over it, at the end of the day, the estate might be worth half of what it would have been if the person had just spent the $500 to get a Will in place - it’s a scenario in which everyone loses, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”
McConnan Bion O'Connor & Peterson provides peace of mind by helping their clients make plans as to how their estate will be dealt with in the future. They help with drafting and revising Wills, Powers of Attorney, Disability Trusts, Representation Agreements, Estate administration, Estate litigation, developing care plans for young children or disabled dependents, and so much more.
For more information about estate planning check out their website http://www.mcbop.com or call 1-250-385-1383.