"No one likes to think about death, let alone build an actual plan around that fateful day," says, vice-president and head, RBC Wealth Management Services at RBC Wealth Management. "But one of the most important financial decisions you can make during your lifetime is to take the time to develop a well-thought-out estate plan to ensure assets are seamlessly transferred according to your wishes."
"We find that when we talk to couples about estate planning, most of them naturally focus on their kids," Maiorino says. "Children are an important part of the decision-making process, no doubt, but a comprehensive estate plan needs to consider an important step before the kids, and that's the surviving spouse."
"The suggestion isn't that the surviving spouse won't do their best in honouring your legacy," Maiorino explains. "Rather, the surviving spouse may simply not be experienced enough in managing finances, they may become ill, they may develop solvency or creditor issues, or they may re-marry, while other family members might contest the estate in court believing they were entitled to certain assets."
"Having these discussions during your lifetime may help alleviate any misunderstanding and problems that arise in settling your estate," says Maiorino, whose team of more than 200 RBC Wealth Management Services specialists has conducted close to 8,000 wealth planning discussions with clients of RBC Wealth Management Canada's investment professionals over the past year. "Most importantly, it will provide peace of mind that your goals and objectives will be met."