In the film Gone With the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara realizes there is nothing more valuable than the land which is owned by her family. Many people in the throes of estate planning in Canada should take into consideration that property may be one of the assets their heirs would most like to have. Sometimes that can cause problems, considering the family farmhouse usually can't be split in half.
Some common law couples assume that because they live together and share their lives as though they are legally married that the law views their situation in the same light. In terms of estate planning issues in Ontario, that is not always the case. Even if a couple has lived together for decades as a common law husband and wife, they have different property and legal rights, including the sharing of a matrimonial home or any other property.
Successful business owners are busy people and consequently might put important things directly unrelated to their businesses on the back burner. Such could be the case with estate planning. Ontario entrepreneurs may be put off by the complexities of working on their estate plans, especially if they intend to pass down the business to their heirs. So, an exit plan is likely just as important as a startup plan.
There are people who have made the decision not to be brought back to life if their hearts stop. The do not resuscitate order, or DNR, is one where people do not want any emergency lifesaving measures to be used to keep them alive. This order, which can be a part of estate planning in Ontario, is often used for those who are terminally ill and gives medical personnel clear directives.
The only constant in life is change, and as people continue to age, changes happen in life that should be reflected in different areas. Estate planning should evolve with those life changes. As finances and other things change as Ontario residents get older, their estate plans may need updating too.
Working on an estate plan can get pretty complex depending upon the assets of an individual. Estate planning can get even more complicated when some of those assets are located outside Canada. More people are holding assets outside their home jurisdictions.
After a lifetime of working hard, raising children and socking any extra money away, most people of retirement age just want to relax and spend some of their hard-earned funds on family members. But in the throes of estate planning in Canada, few people give pause to what would happen to any money shared with an adult child if that child's marriage or live-in love relationship goes on the skids. It's an important question to ask.
Some people have amassed a number of assets in the technological realm. When it comes to estate planning, citizens of Canada should be mindful to include those assets in their wills. In this digital age, some people's assets go beyond investment portfolio shares, valuable collections like art, or a sports car.
Many of the over 55 crowd still head to warmer climates to escape the scathing Canadian winters. Most older people living in Ontario have wills, and many of those who make the trek to Florida in the cold months also own property there. So, do they need to have a separate will for that property?
Children usually have the best interests of their parents at heart. But when it comes to estate planning in Ontario, having all children as executors of their parent's will may not be the best decision. Having more than two or three executors of a will could be a recipe for disaster since all the estate trustees would have to be involved in all the decisions regarding the estate.