Last week’s blog discussed the difference in outcome when you have a will versus the intestate rules being applied to your estate. Taking our example on step further, what happens when Mrs passes away?
Based on our initial example, this family had saved and invested well. Mrs’ career allowed her to maintain the family’s lifestyle without using investments. Investment Corporation is also holding 3 in-force life insurance policies that will pay to the corporation once Mrs passes away.
Assuming Mrs lives to her average life expectancy of 83, the estate will be worth approximately $14 million. If she passes sooner, at age 55, the children will inherit approximately $2,500,000 each when they are in their early 20’s.
How do you increase the likelihood that your estate will benefit your family/beneficiaries and decrease the potential negative impact of what may be sudden wealth for someone unprepared?
- Talk to your family about money basics. If you don’t feel confident about this, that’s okay; you can learn together. Monopoly has many money truths. If you over-spend, you will run out of money and have to negotiate with other people or surrender (and that doesn’t feel good). Expenses come out of the blue. Properties need maintenance.
- Look at your own values and how you are earning/spending your money- do they match? Once you have clarity for yourself, think about how you will share this with your children. There is significant gain in these conversations for all of you.
- Follow and expand on what catches your family’s interest. If your kids are showing an interest in investing, see how much information you can find together. Find sites that will let you build a hypothetical portfolio and track it’s behaviour over time.
- If you have advisors that you trust, be explicit with your family about that. The younger children are, the more all-knowing you seem. Even adult children may not realize that a very successful parent relies on an advisor for help that is out of their area of expertise.
The sooner you have these conversations, the more time you have to repeat the information. Learning happens over time, with repetition. It’s not too late to start talking as a family about your values and how to handle money and wealth so that it meets your goals instead of acting as a hindrance.
Disclaimer- the above example is a hypothetical situation for illustration purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice. Intestate rules vary from province to province. For legal advice specific to your situation, drafting and execution of your wills, please consult your lawyer.
To discuss your current situation and estate goals, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.
Check in later in June for blogs on how to talk your kids about money and finances.