If you have opted to start a family later in life or if you are the more mature partner in a blended family with younger children from your new union, you’ll want to make sure your children are properly cared for and financially secure regardless of what happens to you. That’s why there are certain financial and estate planning issues that you should address right away.
You need a new will
You need to revise your will to include the legacy you wish to leave to your newest family member(s). If your will is out-of-date your surviving spouse and/or your child may not get the share of your estate that you wish them to have. As well, if you do not have a valid will and your child is under the age of majority, the money your child inherits may be held or managed by provincial or territorial authorities until the child reaches the age of majority. He or she would receive your inheritance in one lump sum and may not be capable of managing his or her sudden wealth.
Structuring a will and estate planning are especially difficult for blended families – and, when not done correctly, it can inadvertently eliminate one or more children, or even one branch of your blended family, from any share in your estate. You should know, too, that getting remarried voids any previous wills (except sometimes in Québec ).
Name a guardian
One of the most important parts of your estate plan is recommending a guardian in your will who will take care of your child if you and your spouse are unable to do so. Think carefully about who you should recommend.
The court is not bound to appoint the guardian that you recommend in your will, and may appoint someone else if the court feels you have made a poor choice. So choose wisely – and be sure to talk it over with the person you nominate.
Insure your child’s future
You want to leave a sufficient estate for your child and life insurance can help you do that. As your beneficiary, your child will receive the proceeds of your policy, usually without a tax liability. But insurance rates go up with age and your health could also become an issue, perhaps preventing you from obtaining any kind of insurance coverage.
So act now. Without doubt, a later in life child is an enriching experience and by making the right decisions now, you will ensure he or she is financially and personally protected come what may. Your professional advisor can help you make those decisions and the many others that will keep your financial life growing along with your child.
John Scholl CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter),CGA, B. Mathematics,
Financial Consultant - Investors Group Financial Services Inc John is available at (905) 450-2891 X529
David Pylyp; Stan Gelman Lawyer Mississauga would be pleased to prepare new wills and Power of Attorney Assets Give him a call at 905 270 5110.