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Estate Planning

Creating a Proper Estate Plan

July 19, 2022 by Brett McClelland


Proper estate planning includes a comprehensive review of your financial, familial, and personal circumstances.

At first glance, it may seem that estate planning merely involves creating a will that directs to whom your possessions are to be given and who will ensure that plan is achieved. Comprehensive estate planning, however, takes a deep dive into determining who is and is not, best suited for different roles as needed under your tailored estate plan.

The following is a brief overview of some of the numerous considerations to be surveyed when determining who to appoint as the executor of your estate.

Age

Many people simply name their spouse as executor, and that is generally fine and advisable. However, for many people, their spouse is a similar age, and if you are a more seasoned individual this means the chances of them dying or becoming incapable around the same time as yourself is increased. The same issues can arise if you name an old friend or sibling.

On the flip side, if you decide to appoint someone young and spry, they may lack the skills, experience, and maturity needed to fulfill your wishes and their obligations.

Geography

An often-overlooked fact is that, even in today's ever-increasing digital age, certain tasks are just much easier to accomplish in person. If you live in Kelowna, and your executor lives on the coast, the prairies, or farther afield, then anytime they need to attend to something in person they will need to travel and those expenses can be charged to the estate, reducing the amount available for the beneficiaries. Further, if they reside in a jurisdiction such as the United States there are income tax considerations that may make their appointment ill-advised.

Sophistication Level

Is the person you have in mind financially savvy? If not, they may become overwhelmed with the tasks they are obliged to complete as your executor.

Similarly, if they are not a very organized person, they may unintentionally complicate matters, or cause the estate to incur unnecessary expenses.

Number of Executors

You can name one executor, multiple executors, or alternate executors under your will. Figuring out which situation is best for you is one of the many areas where a lawyer can help by asking the right questions. Some factors you should put your mind to are:

  • One person can become incapacitated, overwhelmed, or move far away
  • Two can have conflicting ideas leading to stalemates or worse
  • Multiple can be confusing for the executors and those they are dealing with. You must consider from the perspective of the bank, realtor, etc. Who are they to listen to if conflicting directions are given from multiple executors?

Contact Brett to set up your appointment to speak about your estate plan.