No one wants to think about death, and no one wants to talk about death, either their own death, or the death of a loved one. The best gift you can give to all of your loved ones, though, is a clear and legal will. While your lawyer will be drafting the legal will, it is also a very good idea to involve your accountants in every step of your estate planning.
Your accountant is just as helpful as your lawyer when planning your will—discussing accounts, debts and assets, bequeathals, who you would like to have as executor of your estate, and joint bank accounts and/or a Power of Attorney for someone you trust to look after your affairs if you become incapacitated. Both professions can help guide you to making the best decisions for you and those you leave behind.
The executor of your estate is likely to be working with your accountants if your estate is complicated at all. Per Estate Law Canada, your executor and your accountants will be working together on:
- The inventory of your estate at the time of your death.
- A record and statement of receipts and disbursements after your death.
- Paying expenses and disbursements—either paying them, or advising the executor on what needs to be looked after.
- A reconciliation of everything into the estate and everything that has been paid out.
- Compensation for the executor, including repayment for out-of-pocket expenses paid by the executor.
- Final income taxes prepared by accountants.
- Preparing statements for final release to beneficiaries.
The death of a loved one is a difficult time, and unfortunately there are legal and accounting issues that need to be handled. Having professional accountants guiding you through estate settlements can help make a difficult time a little less painful.
Contact Shaw & Associates Chartered Accountants to help you out with your financial needs and tax planning and to give you the advice and services that will take you from where you are to where you want to be with your business. One complimentary meeting with us will put you and your business on a more profitable and positive path.