Family and finance

Help your parents secure their legacy

Is it time to have the talk with your parents?

Do you remember when your parents sat you down for the talk? Back then, it likely included some anxious moments and uncomfortable feelings.

It could be time to think about another talk, but this time you’d be initiating a conversation your parents may have been avoiding – about how they want their final wishes carried out.

It’s time to have the talk

Here are a few suggestions when it comes to discussing their legacy:

1. Take advantage of the time you have. You’re on the right track by helping your parents think about this now as opposed to reacting in the moment. Taking the time now helps your parents put the right plans in place to protect what matters most to them.

2. Get organized and help ensure your parents’ wishes are maintained. Help your parents understand the value of getting organized early on so their wishes are understood and carried out according to plan.

You’re on the right track by starting to think about this now, as opposed to reacting in the moment.

3. Ensure they choose someone as their power of attorney. Encourage your parents not to wait too long to select their power of attorney. A lot of important decisions may end up in this person’s hands, and the more time they have to understand your parents’ preferences, the better.

Things to consider

Figuring out your parents’ wishes can take time. When you’re having the talk, it’s important to keep in mind how you can work with a financial security advisor to help protect their estate. Some things to think about when developing a plan are how to help:

  • Protect your parents’ investments from market downturns.
  • Avoid unnecessary legal, estate administration fees.
  • Ensure their money goes directly to the people and/or cause(s) they have chosen.

Work with a financial security advisor to include an Estate Protection policy on their financial security plan. It combines potential growth with protection for the beneficiaries of the policy to help make sure the estate is secured.

What should we talk about?

Start with the basics and learn about:

  • Your parents’ sources of income
  • Any mortgage balance outstanding and types of insurance they have
  • Their medical history
  • The name of and contact information for their advisor (if they don’t have one, ask about how they’ve been making financial decisions)
  • Whether they have a documented will, living will and power of attorney
  • How they would like their money allocated (i.e., to family, friends, charity or a combination of these)

While you’re helping your parents develop a plan, encourage them to provide their banking information to their power of attorney.

A financial security advisor can help your parents ensure their wishes are carried out. Whether you’re having the talk for the first time or revisiting the subject, you can feel a sense of relief and security knowing you’re helping them carry out their final wishes.

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The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate legal, accounting, tax or other professional advisors.