The Components Involved In Estate Planning

In order to have a good estate plan, all the components of the plan should be current.

This means that you should have an up-to-date will, up-to-date power of attorney for property and a power of attorney for personal care. Policies for life insurance and disability insurance should be reviewed to ensure that they are adequate for your family’s needs. Once that plan is in place, we recommend to our clients that they review it every few years on a regular basis, just to make sure that there have not been any changes.

Sometimes there are changes in the beneficiaries who need to be added or removed. Certainly the beneficiaries should be reviewed in times of separation, divorce and remarriage. A lot of clients do not realize that when you remarry, your existing will automatically becomes void, unless that will was made in anticipation of the new marriage and states as such in the will.

Obviously there may be significant changes in assets, because they move up and down. We ask clients, particularly those with significant assets, to sit down with their finical advisors, financial planners and accountants to make sure that, from a tax perspective, everything has been set up properly. In some cases, estate plans will also use formal trusts and these can be used for tax benefits. They can also be used to protect assets from creditors and, in many cases, clients use trusts to avoid probate fees.

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If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with estate law issues in the Markham, Ontario Region, contact Charles B. Ticker for a consultation.

This article is taken from a April 25, 2008 interview with Charles B. Ticker, Estate Lawyer with Charles B. Ticker Law Office, a Markham, Ontario Wills and Estate Law Firm. This article and website provide general information on legal and related matters and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should consult and retain qualified legal professionals in your area to advise you about your particular situation and the law in your jurisdiction as laws vary from province to province, state to state and country to country.