Some people in Alberta diligently take care of estate planning at some time in their lives, but not all of them schedule the review of these documents to make sure they remain current. The contents of wills and estates are affected by life’s changes and neglecting this task may render them useless. For example, a person whose brother is listed as the guardian of his or her children in the event of death may have relocated to another province, or even passed away himself, leaving no one available for this critical task.
Updating beneficiaries is another crucial task. Anyone who listed beneficiaries years ago when he or she first opened Registered Retirement Savings Plans or Tax-Free Savings Accounts might have been young and single at the time. If beneficiaries were never updated after marriage and the birth of children, loved ones will have problems obtaining those funds if something should happen to the account holder. The same applies to other investments and accounts on which beneficiaries were listed.
With the availability of online banking and other financial services, paying bills online has become the way in which most people manage their finances. If the person who deals with these matters should die, the other spouse might not know how to access the accounts or even which accounts to pay. This could lead to his or her property taxes, heating bills and other debts to fall behind – often with dire consequences.
Keeping wills and estates up to date might seem like a daunting task, but help is available. An experienced estate planning lawyer in Alberta can provide the necessary support and guidance with drafting the documents. Annual reviews can then be scheduled with a lawyer who can assist with reviewing all the documents and incorporating the necessary modifications.