A recent report from Canada has highlighted the importance of having estate planning discussions with family as early as possible, to help reduce the emotional impact on those left behind and alleviate family strife.
Fortunately, many Canadian families are apparently beginning to see the value in talking openly about estate planning and legacy goals. The report from the BMO Wealth Institute found that:
- Eighty-two per cent of Canadians with a child at least 40 years of age have had at least one conversation with their adult child about their legacy goals and estate plans.
- Sixty-four per cent of adult children with parents who are at least 60 years of age have had at least one conversation with their parents. However, only about one-third characterised these conversations as “detailed”.
“Telling a child that a will and power of attorney have been prepared, and maybe even letting them know some of the plans for managing and distributing assets, is a good start – but it’s not a detailed discussion,” said Chris Buttigieg, Senior Manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group.
“Make sure you have comprehensive estate planning conversations prior to going to lawyers and accountants to gain an understanding of what is important to your heirs. Though they may not necessarily agree on everything, the conversations will provide information to build a more robust estate plan with fewer potential surprises. This, in turn, will help to create a legacy that loved ones will remember fondly.”
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