James Gandolfini’s sudden death has flooded social media with effusive commentary on his acting abilities and, of course, his role as Mafia boss Tony Soprano. The article that caught my eye, however, was this one from a lawyer in South Carolina. While the laws in British Columbia differ from those in South Carolina, the comments on the importance of planning for your death are applicable. Remember that estate planning is not simply having a Will (although that is a critical component). It also includes:
- Advising your executor where your Will and other critical information are kept.
- Maintaining a list of your key contacts, including your lawyer, accountant, financial advisor, and banker in a place where your executor will find it.
- Having conversations about your wishes with family – especially if there is tension or conflict, or if you expect one or more loved ones to be disappointed with the contents of your Will.
- Speaking openly and at length with the person you name as the guardian for your children.
- Obtaining adequate life insurance.
- Ensuring you have recorded information to allow your executor to access your digital assets (see our earlier blog post for more information).