Estate Advisors – Are You Protected?

Estate to the Heart by Ed OlkovichHow can advisors avoid liability when doing estate planning?

This issue always draws extra attention in professional meetings.

I chaired a programme this week called, “Beyond Estate Planning Essentials” for the Ontario Bar Association.

The audience of estate advisors included lawyers with private firms, and trust, tax and insurance firms across the province.

Most clients making wills have very little experience with the fundamentals of estate planning.

Even high net worth clients have trouble with estate planning terms.

One way of educating your clients on the basic terms is to give them jargon-free reading material.

I have used Estate to the Heart: How to Plan Wills and Estates for Your Loved Ones to educate my clients. I give them a copy before or at our first meeting.

Here is the list of contents to explain the basics of estate planning in a nutshell:

Take Action — Protect Your Loved Ones
1 The Heart of the Matter
2 Set Personal Goals
3 Get Help

Identify Assets — Learn Your Ownership Rights
4 Slice Up Your Estate
5 Joint Survivors
6 Be Sure to Designate

Preview Debts — You Can Reduce Taxes
7 Estate Previews
8 No Taxes? No Way!
9 Probate Perplexed?

Make Wills — Choose Beneficiaries, Executors, and Guardians
10 Wills Made Easy
11 Executor in Charge
12 Beneficiaries Get Everything

Protect Yourself — Use Powers of Attorneys and Trusts
13 What Happens If …
14 Pulling the Plug
15 Speaking of Trusts

Consider Extras — Insurance, Business and Executors’ Work
16 Tax-Free Life Insurance
17 Business Buyouts
18 Settle Your Estate

Review Changes — Revise and Record
19 Review for Changes
20 Married, Separated or Divorced?
21 Wrap-up

You may have your own reading material to hand out, but is it jargon-free?

I recently gave a copy of Estate to the Heart to a client. She came back to ask for two copies for her executors. She wanted them to understand the basics.

Estate to the Heart also contains several fill-in-the-blank forms and an appendix, filled with these helpful tools:

Estate to the Heart Tools
“Thank You” File
Asset Inventory
Insurance List
Professional Advisors
Document Inventory
Funeral Arrangements
Will Planning Notes
Your Personal Information
Your Spouse’s Personal Information
Information on Children
Other Beneficiaries to Consider
The Right Person for Every Job List

You can read a sample chapter of Estate to the Heart here, or contact me for special quantity discounts.