Reviewing your pre-planning needs (and yes, that includes final wishes along with estate planning) doesn’t need to be uncomfortable or daunting. Based on her personal experiences and the lessons she has shared in her highly regarded book, WITH THE [STROKE] OF A PEN™, Claim your life, Jane suggests the Top 5 pre-planning needs you need to review with, and for, your family in 2013:
1. Set time aside to have Courageous Conversations. Don’t put off the topic of estate planning and final wishes for another year. Set a time to sit down and have open and honest conversations with your family, especially parents and spouses, about final wishes. Funeral planning is hard enough, and doing so in the midst of an unexpected loss is overwhelming and unfair to grieving family members.
2. Are you Properly Insured? Your needs and net worth change year to year. Is that policy you placed on yourself, or your spouse, years ago still enough to protect your family in the case of an untimely passing? Do you have the right type of insurance? Will it cover for final expenses and capital gains?
3. Are your Children Protected? Do you have a legal guardian for your children should something happen to you and your spouse? Have they formally agreed to care for your children, and respect your wishes in terms of education and religious upbringing for example?
4. Where there’s a Will, there’s Peace of Mind. Do you have a proper will in place? The majority of Canadians (56% according to a survey released by LawPRO) do not have a signed will. If you are one of the fortunate 44%, when was the last time you reviewed it? Is there anything you need to revise or add?
5. Be in the Know. Book an appointment with your Financial Advisor and your Accountant to review your investments and your record keeping needs for the upcoming year. Know what you have, how much you have, and how it is being taxed and protected.
Taken from firsthand experience, Jane Blaufus knows all too well how important taking an hour or two at the beginning of the year to review your changing needs and actions items can make a lifetime of difference should the unexpected ever happen. And starting in 2013 and every New Year thereafter, Jane hopes people will get into the habit of scheduling time to review their family’s financial well-being. "We have an obligation to ourselves and to those we love”, says Jane, “to make sure that we leave this world in an organized manner". And knowing that your family is protected and that your house is in order should ensure peace of mind in 2013.
Jane Blaufus is an Author, Professional Speaker and Catalyst for ‘Courageous Conversations’
To book Jane for an interview or to provide commentary, please contact: