"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
- Abraham Lincoln

ESTATE PLANNING

Although nearly everyone recognizes the importance of creating an orderly estate plan for dealing with the future, as many as two-thirds of adult Americans don’t even have a Will in place. The reasons for this range from simple laziness, to discomfort at the thought of one’s own death, to mistakenly believing that only the rich or elderly need organize their estate.

Unfortunately, failing to plan for one’s death or incapacity won’t prevent it from happening; and the consequences of dying or becoming incapacitated without a plan are dire.

For example, depending on where you live:

  • If you die without a Will, your spouse will not receive all the property in your estate: some will go to your other relatives – even if your spouse needs it more.
  • If you and your spouse die without a will, a court will determine who becomes guardian of your children, regardless of whom you would have chosen if given the chance.
  • If you become even temporarily incapacitated without having appointed someone as your Agent, who will be able to access your bank accounts to ensure that such things as your mortgage or car loan are taken care of?
  • Similarly, if you become incapacitated without having appointed a Health Care Agent, how can ensure that someone you trust is allowed to make important treatment decisions for you?
Protect your loved ones and yourself - plan for the future by honestly considering the importance of having an estate plan in place.

Don’t let laziness or discomfort endanger your family’s and your future.

The Legal Say So tools will allow you to quickly and simply create important estate planning documents. Simply click on the document you wish to create from the “Create A Document” drop down menu at the top of the home page; answer a series of questions; and for a nominal charge your document will be generated for you as a PDF file pre-populated with all the important information you provided. Save it to your device, print it out, and then execute it per the instructions you will be shown.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

What is a financial planning?

As with life itself, when you’re organizing your finances, it’s best to start with a plan. Put simply, a financial plan outlines the way that you intend to use your money to achieve your Life Goals. It’s like a financial Life Map that will take you from where you are now to where you want to be as you journey toward achieving your Life Goals.

A financial plan will help you:

  • save money to fund achieving your Life Goals;
  • grow your assets over your life journey;
  • protect and shelter your assets as they accumulate;
  • minimize and otherwise manage your taxes;
  • prepare for unexpected emergencies with insurance and other tools
  • provide for your retirement; and
  • leave a future for your family
Start simply

Your financial circumstances and personal goals will change over your life journey, so your financial plan should evolve, as well. An easy way to get started is to list your financial Life Goals as you are mapping your future. Then, just create a basic budget or spending plan. In time, you can expand your financial plan to include investment strategies; tax and education planning; and other financial targets. Your goal should be to balance your day-to-day financial priorities with your longer-term financial goals.

A comprehensive financial plan usually includes:

  • a list of your financial Life Goals;
  • a monthly budget so you can see and understand where your money goes;
  • a strategy to manage your existing debt;
  • retirement planning;
  • insurance for your health, life and personal assets;
  • estate planning (including at least executing a Will);
  • a tax management plan; and
  • investing strategies.
Act and review

Once you have your financial plan in place, it’s time to act on it. It may take a while to accomplish all your financial Life Goals, but try to make as much progress as you can as quickly as you can. Each step along the way will take you closer to achieving your goals. Review your plan at least twice a year to make sure it’s still meeting your needs.

Financial planning requires a time commitment and can be difficult to fit into a busy life. But it will be worth the effort if you consider it an investment in your and your family’s!

"Yes, I'd Like to Learn More From a Certified Financial Planner"

INSURANCE

Nothing is more important than the things you hold close – your family, your health, your home. Get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you're protected with a personalized insurance plan. No matter what life stage you're at, insurance products can help protect you and your loved ones.

Important types of insurance to consider are:

Ensures your family is financially secure, even if you can't be with them. Provides tax advantages and living benefits depending on policy type.

Provides a tax-free lump sum to cover your expenses should you become seriously ill. Enables a higher quality of life and helps protect your assets while you recover.

Preserves your income when you're not able to work. Helps you meet your financial obligations so you can concentrate on getting better and returning to your normal routine

Helps pay for health expenses not covered by your provincial plan. Enables you to obtain quality care and reduces the fear of outliving your savings.

Supplements and extends your provincial coverage, including prescription drugs, eyeglasses, and dental. A must-have for today's competitive job market.

Ensures monthly loan payments can be made when you're ill, unemployed, or in the event of your death.