What will become of your heirs when you die? What will happen to your assets?
If you don’t know, chances are you haven’t done enough estate planning. At a minimum, you should have a will. If you are a high net worth individual, then chances are you’ll need a lot more.
The team at Merchant Law is well-versed in Saskatchewan’s estate planning laws and can help you craft solutions that ensure your assets get where you want them to go after your death. We can also ensure that your wishes are honored should you need long-term care as you approach the end of your life, which can prevent you from being taken advantage of or becoming a source of contention to your family as you age.
We all have to die, so this is the most loving act of financial planning that you will ever undertake on behalf of your family.
Consequences of Dying Without a Will
When you don’t have a will you lose control of your estate. All of your assets will be divided up according to Sasatchewan’s Intestate Succession Act. It’s a fairly straightforward formula, but it rarely coincides with the wishes of the deceased.
This means your current spouse will get the first $100,000, which may not be ideal if you’ve only been married for a few years. You might have stepchildren or other family members you’d like to see get that money more.
The current spouse also receives ½ of the remainder. If you have one child, they receive the other half. If you have more than one 2/3rds of the remainder go to your children, divided up equally between them.
After that the order is: grandchildren, parents, siblings, more distant relatives, creditors, and the administrator.
This can mean all of your hard-earned money, land, and assets go to people you don’t know, you don’t like, or who haven’t been invested in your life or success. It also means you can’t give any assets to charity.
Comprehensive Estate Planning
A good estate plan includes more than a will. It can include life insurance policies that pass monies directly to beneficiaries. Trusts that pass control of assets directly to beneficiaries without need for the probate process, since control of the asset, which belongs to the trust, doesn’t change.
It can include end-of-life planning like power of lawyer documents and elder care planning.
It certainly involves taking the tax considerations of each of your choices into account so that your heirs retain as much of your net worth as possible.
Why Merchant Law?
Intelligent estate planning requires creative solutions. We’re here to provide those solutions. We’re an experienced team of responsive, caring lawyers with a long track record of helping people like you meet all their needs and goals.
Get started today by contacting us for a consultation, get paired with a lawyer, and find out if Merchant Law is the choice for you.