Where there's a will there's a way" to protect your estate. The right insurance and investment strategies are two important parts of sound financial planning. The third part — your will — is essential for developing an effective estate plan.
"All three parts line up to form your overall plan," says Judy Wood, a senior insurance advisor with OMA Insurance.
A will provides for an orderly transfer of your assets to your chosen beneficiaries, and the opportunity to choose the executor of your estate.
Are you aware of what happens if you die without a valid will? This is what is known as dying "intestate." In such cases, Ontario law stipulates how your estate is distributed, and it often goes to family or other living relatives. Although there are rules in place, issues can occur, including:
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Lacking a valid will can also cause lengthy problems. For instance, Jimi Hendrix, Pablo Picasso, and Howard Hughes all died intestate. Their sizable estates took many years to settle, and were eventually divided up among multiple claimants simply because they did not have a will.
While having a will is a priority, it doesn't end your estate planning. "With significant life changes, you want to review your will," says Ms. Wood.
Changes, such as marriage, divorce, remarriage, a common-law relationship, children, stepchildren, grandchildren, the status of dependents, and retirement, can all affect your will.
It is easy to let such updates fall through the cracks, especially when work and life are so busy. However, it is important to talk to your tax lawyer or accountant to ensure that your will is current.
Keep your accountant, financial consultant and insurance advisor informed to ensure that you have adequate insurance working in concert with your estate, and that the financial well-being of your loved ones is secure.
When writing or updating your will, you may want to consider two additional needs:
"Nobody likes to think about their death, but knowing that your estate will be settled as you wish, and in the most efficient way possible, provides peace of mind," says Ms. Wood.
For assistance in finding the right insurance solutions to suit your needs, please contact OMA Insurance at 1.800.758.1641, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with one of our non-commissioned OMA Insurance Advisors.
Additional information is available on the OMA Insurance website at: