Communication is Key

key to communicationMy mother recently passed away and I am grateful for the communication we had about her wishes and preferences for when the time came. She suffered from a chronic illness so the family had time to prepare themselves for her passing and I had the time to prepare to be the Executor of her estate.

 

The Remaining Information

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Further to the post “It must be January” there is other information equally important to your Power of Attorneys and Executor that will require more time to document.

Another Year … and So Much More to Learn

diplomaIn the spirit of continuous improvement (and to disprove the suggestion that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…) I recently completed two Professional Development courses and received the professional designations associated with both.

In January 2015, I obtained the CEA designation and in December 2014 the EPC designation. I believe both of these designations focus on and sharpen the planning and communication requirements boomers will need to manage their future against the backdrop of the serious changing demographic, economic and social changes in our society.

It Must Be January…

To do todayI’m not talking about resolutions. I’m talking about getting fit! Stores are full of exercise equipment for the home and enrolment in fitness clubs increases. Then the hard work starts and the enthusiasm wanes.

Getting financially fit also occurs in January. Have you decided on the amount of your TFSA and RRSP contributions or any of the other plans you might contribute to like a RESP or RDSP? But then again you might wait until just before the deadline and then have to make “in-the-moment” decisions about the amount to contribute and how to invest it.

Uncomfortable Conversations

 

uncomftYou may not know that there are organizations in the US that are attempting to encourage families to discuss important topics that are often left too late. While these organizations encourage discussions about health and end of life, the discussion of financial health and quality of life are equally important.

Another Obligation


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As the Grey Tsunami grows the Government of Ontario is increasing the reporting responsibilities of an Executor to ensure that assets reported when a will is probated are not understated. The draft details of the new reporting obligations are posted to the Government of Ontario website at http://bit.ly/1yxP8ee.

We can only guess how many more fiduciary responsibilities will be assigned to Executors, however the Government of Ontario’s need to balance their budget each year will likely bring new responsibilities that an Executor must manage.

Financial Literacy – What does that mean to YOU?

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Being financially literate empowers you to make daily decisions for things as simple as: should I buy that pair of shoes, wait until they go on sale or save the money? It also empowers you to set long-term financial goals and determine the means to achieve them.

It should also empower you to see the implications of deferring decisions in areas considered to be unpleasant.

AND… it should empower you to assess whether you have the information and skills to undertake fiduciary responsibilities for finances you currently have no control over.

Death, Taxes and the CRA

As the Executor you are not only responsible to the beneficiaries, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is the first and last creditor of an estate. CRA will hold you personally responsible for non-payment of any taxes if you have made distributions to the beneficiaries and there is not enough money left to pay all outstanding taxes.

Additionally, from the date you become an Executor it may take over 3 years to complete the responsibilities for tax filings and payments. How do you manage?

Are Your Digital Assets Secure?

document 4Password security has recently been in the news with the theft of Jennifer Lawrence’s password and download of personal photos. Improving security and having a secure way to share passwords with your executor will reduce the risk of losing digital assets.

Reviews of various password managers identify individuals hold importance on the convenience and security of the program across any type of platform. Users want the ability to navigate seamlessly throughout the service and easily find what they’re looking for. They want security that their personal information is confidential and in safe hands. However, these aren’t the only factors that contribute to a successful password manager. There are four main criteria to keep in mind when searching for a password manager.

First Consideration

time 5An Executor’s specific priorities will be dependent on the deceased’s circumstances. Immediately after the death the Executor is responsible for arranging for the funeral if it has not already been planned and prepaid. However, the Executor may also be juggling supporting a surviving spouse and dependent children, locating and safeguarding assets and other important time-sensitive issues during the grieving period.