Elizabeth O’Connor of RBC: Planning for after you die is not fun, but necessary


We held a Will & Estate Planning seminar recently which had me thinking about  some of the stranger aspects of aging.  One example is, as we age we continually take on responsibility even when we reach a point where we’d really prefer simplifying life and taking on less responsibility.  Perhaps nowhere is this conundrum more evident than when it comes to sitting down to tackle Will & Estate planning.

Most of us have no problem planning for the future, figuring out where we’ll be five years from now, planning life after the kids leave the nest, what it’s going to take to save for that European river cruise and so on.  Will & Estate planning is different in that you’re not planning for the future so much as you are planning for after you die. Not quite as much fun but with every passing day it becomes more important it be done even as you become less inclined to do it.

In an earlier article I discussed the duties of the Executor and offered an Executor Checklist.  The checklist is a pretty good guide for someone starting down the path of planning their estate.

Consider just a few of the preliminary duties –

Locate the Will and review it for specific instructions concerning the funeral, assist with funeral arrangements if required, ensure the family’s immediate financial needs can be met, review any marriage contracts, family law issues or dependent relief issues.

The implications of these smallest of duties give you an idea of the enormity of the tasks ahead.  Is there a Will?  Is it up to date?  Where is it?  Do the Beneficiaries have any idea of the contents?  Do my loved ones know enough about my thoughts and wishes?  Do they understand why I arranged things this way.

If you want your estate to be dispersed according to your wishes a good exercise might be to pretend you will be asked to be its’ Executor.  You would want it easily accessible, comprehensive of assets, beneficiaries and legacies with clarity of intent.

As your enthusiasm for this task is guaranteed to decrease every day going forward best to do it today and contact my Associate, Lynne at [email protected] or call her at 705-645-2966 to request the Executor Checklist.

This article is supplied by Elizabeth O’Connor, an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. (Member–Canadian Investor Protection Fund). This article is for information purposes only. Please consult with a professional advisor before taking any action based on information in this article.

Elizabeth O’Connor can be reached at 705-789-2100 or [email protected]


Elizabeth O'Connor

Whether you are looking for a full time, full service financial advisor or seeking expert financial advice as a second opinion, call Elizabeth. With offices in Haliburton, Huntsville and Bracebridge, Elizabeth works closely with clients in cottage country from the lakes and surrounding towns.

Elizabeth O’Connor is an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, which is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. 705-789-2100