Being a mom, I’m blessed with 2 wonderful kids but also a lot of worry. Like what would happen to the kids if something happened to me or my husband or both of us? I develop a lot of content pieces but this one is definitely a lot more personal. The hours of research poured into this one made me think about my situation and how hard it is to even think of something happening like this. So please let me explain the logic behind creating this estate planning checklist.

First we’ve created a two sided hexagon; Question side and Tools side with each side complementing each other.

Children

Question Side:

  • What will happen to the children if both parents were to go?
  • Who would take care of them and until what age?
  • What would happen if only parent were to go?

Tool Side:

  • Will- Have one.
  • Assign a guardian for your children
  • If there’s an inheritance for the children, who will take care of this? Make sure you assign a trustee for the inheritance.
  • Always choose 2 qualified people for each position and communicate with them.

Assets/Liabilities

Question Side:

  • What are your assets? Create a detailed list of your assets such as:
  • Home, Family Business Interest, Investments- Non registered, TFSA, RRSP, RDSP, RESP, Company Pension Plan, Insurance Policy, Property, Additional revenue sources, etc…
  • What are your liabilities? Create a detailed list of your liabilities such as:
  • Mortgage, Loans (personal, student, car), Line of Credit, Credit card, Other loans (payday, store credit card, utility etc.)
  • Understand your assets-the ownership type (joint, tenants in common, sole etc.), list who are the beneficiaries are for your assets
  • Understand your liabilities- who’s on the hook for paying back the loan?

Tools Side:

  • Will- Have one.
  • Assign an executor
  • Provide specific instructions for distribution of assets
  • Always choose 2 qualified people for each position and communicate with them.

Ongoing Needs

Question Side:

  • List out the living expenses
  • List out income needs
  • Do you still need to pay for school
  • Determine if you have enough (assets minus liabilities) to take care of the family.

Tools Side:

  • Once you determine how much need there is, review your life insurance coverage to see if it meets your needs or if there’s a shortfall.

Execution:It’s good to go through this but you gotta get it done. Besides doing it yourself, here’s a list of the individuals that can help:

  • Financial Planner/Advisor (CFP)
  • Estate Planning Specialist
  • Insurance Specialist
  • Lawyer
  • Accountant/Tax Specialist
  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Chartered Executor Advisor (CEA)

There are definitely unique situations in many families and things can get complicated so please use this when you feel it’s applicable.

If you’re a subscriber advisor of ours, please let us know if you’d like this infographic checklist to use with your family clients, prospects and referral sources such as accountants, estate planning lawyers and estate professionals.

The Checklist

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