A Toronto-area CPA is pointing to a missed opportunity for advisors to forge a connection with the vast majority of Canadians. Earlier this week blogged about the need for getting one’s financial house in order. At the top of the list of things advisors could and should do to help clients better prepare for the day they die is the preparation of a will. Not surprisingly, most Canadians are woefully unprepared for this phase of their life.
“Think about it. Many of us do not want to accept our eventual death,” Mark Goodfield wrote in his blog The Blunt Bean Counter
. “The net result is either we avoid preparing a will (a 2012 survey by LawPro says 56% of Canadians do not have a will) or we procrastinate updating our will, even when we have significant life events. I’ve seen this pattern repeated first-hand over the last 25 years.”
Incredibly, that same survey by LawPro
which Goodfield refers to, highlights the fact only 13% of Canadians signed a will when they purchased a home or condo.
“Homebuyers have just made one of the most expensive purchases of their lifetimes,” reports the survey. “They’ve already engaged a lawyer as part of the home-buying process, making it an ideal time to also have a will and powers of attorney drawn up.”
Advisors have an opportunity here to add value to clients, especially those who are young and buying their first home.
Goodfield recommends a few easy steps that advisors can easily do to assist clients in sorting out the financial matters we all have to go through.
1. Make sure everyone in your client’s family know where the will is located and the name of the lawyer who put together the will.
2. Who are the executors? A vital piece of information.
3. Do they have a list of assets? If not, it’s very helpful to do so.
4. If there are insurance policies involved ensure that they are all listed.
5. The computer can be a tricky thing to navigate. The process is greatly improved if passwords are available regarding important financial information.
6. Have them contact their various financial advisors including yourself
7. Ensure that all bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, and safes are accounted for.