For Young Adults

Too frequently, estate planning is something people believe needs to be done only late in life, when you’re “getting your affairs in order.” But in reality, for young adults and especially for young families, estate planning should be high on their to-do list.

As soon as a couple becomes financially interdependent, whether they buy real estate together or they have a child, they need to develop an estate plan. That plan should include properly drafted wills, appropriate insurance and the necessary mandates, powers of attorney and directives required in your province of residence.

Did You Know?

More than three-quarters of Canadians, between the ages of 27 and 34, don’t have a will. Your parents are more likely to focus on distributing their assets, whereas a young family tends to be concerned about taking care of their dependants.

Your estate planning to-do list should include the following:

  • Determine your wishes, including what happens if your entire family dies in an accident.
  • Draft wills, mandates or powers of attorney (for property and personal care).
  • Choose guardian(s), trustee(s) and your executor(s) (and alternates).
  • Create a list of assets and liabilities; your executor will need it.
  • Decide on and arrange any gifts from your estate to charity.
  • Communicate your plans, including funeral wishes, to those who need to know.
  • For minor children, include a statement of intentions for appointed guardians, outlining guidelines for education and trust proceeds.
  • Determine insurance needs and designate beneficiaries for insurance and registered investments.
  • Arrange your estate to minimize probate and taxes.
  • Keep all documents together in a safe place where your executor will know where to find them.

Get Started

Although no one likes to talk about death, it is a certainty for all of us. Taking care of your obligations and responsibilities is part of being an adult, and we’re all better served by planning for the future and the unexpected. Get started by reviewing ProsperiGuide’s What If File.

While not a traditional gift, suggest a gift of estate planning (if you are newlyweds or new parents) to ensure it gets done.