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Why updating estate plans is a good New Year's resolution

For many, the start of a new year is an opportunity to set goals and mark the direction for the year to come. Financial resolutions are commonplace for many Ontario adults, whether it's making a budget, earning more or safeguarding assets. When it comes to the latter, be sure to keep estate plans on your radar. Updating early and often can help prevent litigation in the future.

When setting a resolution, experts suggest that laying out specific steps and timelines can help motivate actions. With estate planning, steps can include compiling a list of assets and liabilities, contacting a lawyer and drafting supporting documentation. Working with experts, like lawyers or financial planners, who can lay out these steps clearly can also help people stick to their resolutions.

Waiting for the "right mood" to hit can sabotage efforts to get estate plans done. This can be a challenging process and raise uncomfortable issues with a family, so it's unlikely that the mood will ever hit. Instead, make a list and commit to progress. With a clear plan and the right support, it it certainly possible to reach estate planning goals in the new year.

For some Ontario families, it is not estate plans but estate litigation that is on the horizon in the new year. Resolving contentious issues or working through the settlement of an estate can also be an important resolution for many. In these cases, it is important to connect with a lawyer to clarify the necessary steps and support any necessary legal actions.

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