I don’t know about you, but by the 3rd week of January the turkey effect (and chocolate effect) has finally started to wear off and I become motived and energized to start preparing for the new year. What do I want to accomplish this year? What can I accomplish this year? What should I accomplish this year? Often these are 3 very different questions.
Reviewing your estate plan would usually fall into the third category (what should you accomplish) – it certainly isn’t a task that most people want to think about let alone give priority too. However it is an important exercise that is necessary to ensure your wishes following death or during any incapacity are met.
We generally recommend that you review your Will and other estate planning documents periodically to ensure that they continue to operate in a manner that reflects your testamentary wishes. Examples of material changes in your affairs that may change the operation of your Will or your testamentary wishes include the: birth, or death of a person close to you, commencement or termination of a marriage-like relationship (including a common law relationship), acquisition or disposition of assets (including real estate and gifts), relocation outside of British Columbia, undertaking of any liabilities, and changes in tax, wills or estates laws.
When reviewing your incapacity planning tools, typically the power of attorney (financial and legal decision making) and the representation agreement (health and personal care decision making) you should review if the person appointed in each is still the right person for the job; whether you should appoint any other person as a “back up” attorney or representative; and whether there has been any changes to your affairs that your appointed individuals should be aware of.
If there has been any changes in life events, or you would like to make changes to your estate planning documents our wills and estates team at Touchstone are always happy to sit down and chat about your estate plan together.
If you are disciplined to take a bit of time at the beginning of each new year to quickly assess your existing estate plan following any life changes in the last year, then you can generally tuck it away and forget about if for the rest of the year. For that reason I would argue that this should actually be a task that you can quickly accomplish and in fact want to accomplish (and in a timely manner. Heaven knows if you wait until February your resolve may be gone with the wind).
If you are considering an estate review if you have any questions during your estate review, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 250-448-2637.
Author: Jennette Vopicka
This information is general in nature only. You should consult a lawyer before acting on any of this information. This information should not be considered as legal advice. To learn more about your estate planning needs, please contact our office at (250)448-2637 or any of our lawyers practicing in the area of wills & estates at the following:
Una Gabie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennette Vopicka: email@example.com
Danielle (Dani) Brito: firstname.lastname@example.org