Regardless of how much money you have, an estate plan can help secure everything you’ve accumulated in your lifetime.
A well-thought-out estate plan may help protect you from financial abuse, theft or fraud. It can also ensure your loved ones are taken care of after you are gone and that your wishes regarding your financial assets are known.
An Estate Plan
An estate plan might include the following documents: a will, an enduring power of attorney in relation to property and financial affairs (“Financial POA”), an enduring power of attorney in relation to personal care (“Personal Care POA”), and trusts, to name but a few.
A Financial POA allows you to appoint someone you trust to take care of your finances should you become unable to do so. If you don’t have a Financial POA and become incapacitated, your loved ones may have to go to court to access your bank accounts to pay your bills.
A Financial POA is only effective while you are alive. A will comes into effect when you die.
Has someone appointed you to act under a power of attorney or do you want to learn more about the role of a power of attorney? Visit Understanding the Power of Attorney.
For information about Personal Care POAs, visit the Public Legal Education and Information Services of New Brunswick’s power of attorney webpage. For a deeper understanding or advice on either a Financial POA or a Personal Care POA, seek advice from legal counsel.
The Family Talk You Should Have
Have you talked to your spouse and adult children about your financial situation? If a crisis came up, would they be able to find your important documents? A financial heart-to-heart is in your best interest and theirs as well.
Steps to prepare for and protect your financial future
Taking the steps listed below now may help prepare your financial affairs for the future and avoid or minimize problems for you and your family as you age or should you be deemed to have diminished capacity:
- Organize your important documents. Download our Record Keeper to help you.
- Provide your financial professionals with a Trusted Contact Person.
- Consider appointing a Financial POA and drafting a will as part of an estate plan.
- Keep things up-to-date and review periodically to be sure your plans still reflect your current situation.