From a legal perspective, having all your ‘ducks in a row means having all of your legal and financial plans in place in case of both emergencies and to plan for life’s eventual events. The main eventual events – acquiring property, having children, retiring, and dying. The emergencies include accidents, illnesses, and a sudden change in your financial situation. This sudden change can be anything from bankruptcy to winning the lottery – any which way, you need a plan and documents in place!

 

If any of the big 4 happens, you need to review your plan. The big four: marriages (including cohabitation 6 months or more), divorces, births, and deaths. Also, the law can change or evolve. So can the practical aspects of dealing with your finances or your estate assets. For example, it is now more commonplace to set out in your Will the fee the executor will receive to manage your estate. It is also common to stagger an inheritance over several years if the beneficiary is younger or establish a trust if they need assistance with funds management.

 

It is also common for parents in their lifetime to loan children funds to make large purchases – past loans need to be considered when determining how to distribute the estate to keep the beneficiary amounts equal. If you intend to forgive the loan on your death, it should be in writing. A lawyer can help you keep your ‘ducks in a row by doing a review to make sure you have not missed any important paperwork or updates you may now require. A little planning is worth its weight for peace of mind.

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