As we age, estate planning becomes a critical process. Working with a trusted legal representative will help ensure that your wishes are honoured and your loved ones are protected.
- Drafting a legally sound will is fundamental. Consider how you want your assets distributed and who will manage your affairs.
- Review and update beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other assets - this takes precedence over the instructions in your will.
- Appoint a trusted individual as your power of attorney to make financial decisions if you become incapacitated. Create healthcare directives, including a living will and a healthcare proxy, to outline your medical preferences and designate someone to make medical decisions for you.
- If you have minor children, designate a guardian to care for them in the event of your passing.
- Understand the applicable estate tax laws and explore strategies to minimize liabilities, such as gifting assets during your lifetime or creating irrevocable trusts.