Redoing Wills as You Approach Retirement
If you were very responsible when you were younger, chances are very good that you have a will. You wanted to make sure that you knew exactly what was going to happen with your assets and finances in the event you passed away. Now that you are approaching retirement age though, it is very important that you address legal retirement planning and revisit your will. There are a number of reasons you will want to look at retirement planning, including your changing circumstances and finances, not to mention changes in the family. Financially, there are so many aspects to reaching retirement age, the Alberta government even has set out some of the provincial financial & legal aspects you need to know about. The retirement planning lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary can help you with your legal wills & estates retirement planning.
Why Redo Your Will On Retirement
Having a wills and estates will review lawyer go over your estate retirement planning documents, is more than about who gets what. There may be functional reasons to review and redo your will on retirement as well. Some of these include:
- You have sold or shut down your corporation
- You have sold major assets or homes
- The value of specific bequests to specific beneficiaries have changed
- You want to recognize a specific charity or organization in your will
- You have missed tax savings that can be drafted into your will
- Beneficiaries, executors, or representatives have passed away or are no longer able to act.
Retirement Planning Lawyers Help With More Than Wills
Retirement planning is more than just about wills. More than ever, it is essential to have an enduring power of attorney and personal directive prepared. An enduring power of attorney allows someone to deal with your finances if you lose the ability to make your own financial decisions. These will only become effective if your doctor (or two doctors) make the determination that you have lost capacity. This means that you do not have to worry about family taking your possessions. A personal directive lets someone make medical and personal decisions for you in you lose capacity. Without these two retirement planning documents, your family will have to get a guardianship and trusteeship order from the Alberta Courts which can take several months and can cost $1000’s.
Changes to Your Finances
One of the most important reasons to revisit your will when retirement planning is simply the fact that your financial portfolio could be different from what it was just a few years ago. Perhaps you have more money and more investments now than you did in the past. Perhaps some of the investments you once had are no longer there. Whenever there are large scale, and even small, financial changes, it is very important when retirement planning to think about how it will affect your will.
For example, if you now own a second home or vacation property, you need to amend the will to make sure that you are accounting for the new property. If not, some of the family members may contest who gets the property and what happens to it after you pass away. If you have a large RSP, pension, insurance, a corporation or significant savings, you may want to rework your will as well.
Donating to Charities
As you approach retirement, you will get a better sense of the financial needs of yourself, your spouse and your family. Retirement planning is not just about you, but your family. Your children may have demonstrated that they are financially capable of providing for themselves. You may want to help support an organization that is meaningful to you or your loved ones. In addition to it being a good thing to do, naming a charity as a beneficiary can have beneficial tax advantages for your estate once you pass. Discussing naming a charity in your will with your wills & estates lawyer in Calgary is definitely worth doing in you have significant assets outside your personal primary residence.
Family Changes & Retirement Planning
Over the years, chances are you’ve had quite a few changes in the family as well. You might have children or even grandchildren now. You want to make sure that everyone in the family receives what he or she deserves, and the only way to do that is to revisit your will. Perhaps there has been a falling out with a family member. This may necessitate a change in your will as well. Perhaps you married, divorced, or remarried. All of these things would require changes to the will. If a spouse or another member of the family who was in the will passes away before you do, then you will want to revisit the will as well.
Make the Changes Soon
Retirement comes upon us far more quickly than most would like. Often a will is the last thing on your mind. You have too many other things to handle, and the will becomes an afterthought that you plan to get around to some day. However, this is one area where you really can’t wait. Take the time to think about the changes in your life and how they will affect your will. Make a list of the changes that you want to make and then get in touch with an attorney.
Choose a lawyer in Alberta who has experience with wills and who can help you rework your document until it reflects your changes. In addition, it might be a good idea to revisit your will every year or so, just so you can take care of any other life changes that affect how you want your assets divided.
Retirement Planning Wills & Estates Lawyers in Calgary, Alberta
The retirement planning wills & estates lawyers at Kahane Law Office in Calgary, Alberta are pleased to assist you in deciding if you need to make changes to your will & estates retirement planning needs. You can reach us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817, 403-225-8810 locally or email us directly here.