Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, and along with the emotional strain comes a long list of tasks to take care of. Whether you’re on your own or have the support of loved ones, dealing with financial paperwork and plans can be extremely difficult—especially if your spouse is the one who always managed the money.
Fortunately, there are some ways to be proactive with investment planning now to make the transition much smoother in the future.
Share with your spouse
Don’t divide up the investment planning duties—it’s a two-person job. You share your lives, so sit down together and make joint decisions. You should both go over your financial holdings, discuss investment options and attend meetings with your advisors.
Take care of the paperwork
A will is the absolute minimum for documentation. You can easily add personal or health directives and power of attorney.
Choose your executor carefully. Make sure they understand the extent of the duties and obligations involved—it can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Your will is a living document and you need to update it when significant life events occur (births, deaths, property purchases, etc.).
As you grow older you may have grandchildren or even great grandchildren that you want to leave property, assets or possessions to. If you are gifting assets, make sure to draw up the proper paperwork to avoid confusion and uncertainty.
Involve your kids
By the time most of us reach retirement age, our children are grown. Holding a family meeting to discuss the inevitable doesn’t have to be stressful or awkward. Let your children know about your financial situation and your plans for your assets when you’re gone.
Understand your pension
Do you know how much in survivor or death benefits you’ll receive from your pension? Are you aware of any exclusions or clauses that take effect when the pension holder passes away? For example, if your pension was set up to maximize benefits while you are alive, it could seriously affect your spouse’s income.
Learn more about the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) here.
Explore your insurance options
Even if you’re over 50, if you’re reasonably healthy you still have many insurance options that can ease the financial burden down the road. Loss of income insurance and critical illness insurance are two investment planning tactics that can protect your retirement income.
Get expert advice
Trying to act as executor for a will or choose between investment options is often too much to handle on your own. One of our registered advisors can answer your questions and bring in other professionals like estate specialists to help—and it may be a lot more affordable than you think. Book a free consultation.
Island Savings Wealth Management is a division of FW Wealth Management Ltd. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of First West Credit Union.
FW Wealth Management Ltd. is a licensed life insurance agency offering financial planning, life insurance and investments. All insurance products are subject to the limitations, terms and conditions in the applicable policy or insurance contract in force at the time of purchase or enrollment and applicable legislation. The products sold through FW Wealth Management Ltd. are not guaranteed or insured by a deposit insurer.