Two generations talking about estate planning.

How to Talk About Estate Planning

Is Estate Planning the Elephant in the Room for Canadian Families?

Recent studies show that most Canadians are uncomfortable with talking about estate planning, finances and wills with their parents, families, and even professionals:

  • 47% of Canadians have never brought up the subject of inheritance with the people they want to leave money to
  • 79% have not consulted a financial advisor about the tax implications of wealth left behind


What You Need to Know When Talking About Estate Planning

The importance of wills and estate planning cannot be understated and there are several essential reasons why Canadians need to get over their awkwardness talking about estate planning with their families and with a professional Estate Planner.

For instance, do you know how to:

  • Allocate different types of assets to different people, depending on their relation to you?
  • Use Tax Free Savings Accounts as a tax shelter?
  • Appropriately use Trusts to avoid awkwardness and distrust among siblings?
  • Use Charitable Giving to enjoy tax benefits?

Once a professional estate planner has helped you with your estate planning and you are comfortable with your finalized will, it is equally as important to discuss these matters with family members and anyone else included in your will.

Talking about estate planning openly gives you an opportunity to explain to your heirs the reasons for why your will is set up the way it is, which can help prevent family legal disputes after your passing. You can also help your heirs understand the value of your inheritance in hopes they will be fiscally responsible with the inheritance they receive.

Estate Planning Tips

Here are a few simple tips on how talking about estate planning with your loved ones and heirs can help:

  • Talk often about smaller, less important matters so that everyone will become more comfortable with the topic.
  • Choose the right setting for your personal family dynamics, whether it is an impromptu casual setting or a formal discussion facilitated by your estate planner.
  • Communicate the contents of your will and estate plan in a group setting, with everyone present, stating your reasoning behind the way you have set up your will.
  • Use your own judgement in discerning how much information you should disclose to your heirs, depending on their maturity level and stage of life.
  • If you have a spouse, make sure you are on the same page, and you are both involved in the conversation.
  • Anticipate questions you think your children or heirs may have, and be prepared with well thought out answers.
  • Dream big and discuss your intended legacy with your heirs. While you can’t dictate what your children or heirs will do with the inheritance you have left them after you pass, you can work to instill common goals when it comes to spending, saving, and giving, in order to pass on a legacy through generations to come.
  • Be sure to ask the heir(s) how they feel and to air any concerns they may have. Give them a chance to be heard, even if you do not intend to change your will.
  • Make it clear that your will may be an ongoing discussion because a lot can change, especially if you are still young and healthy.

Still Have Questions About Wills and Estate Planning?

If you still feel you have unanswered questions about will preparation and estate planning and you need assistance please call our Edmonton office at 1-780-437-5070 to speak with one of our Executive Benefit Strategies advisors or use our online contact form to request a free Consultation.

Computer showing Insurance Policy graphic

Canada Critical Illness Insurance – FAQ

The purpose of this critical illness insurance FAQ blog post by Benefit Strategies, is to offer answers to some very basic questions that most Canadians have on this subject.

A critical illness insurance policy helps pay costs associated with a life-altering illness and is received as a lump sum cash payment. Essentially, a critical illness insurance policy helps you recover from a serious illness, condition, or disease, while maintaining your family’s lifestyle and financially stability.

For more information outside of this critical illness insurance FAQ, please contact our Edmonton Benefits Brokers directly at 1-780-437-5070.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a critical illness?

Each critical illness insurance policy is unique but common critical illnesses may include:

  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Life threatening cancer
  • Major organ transplant
  • Total deafness or blindness
  • Loss of speech
  • Severe burns
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease

Why do I need critical illness insurance?

A critical illness insurance policy will ensure that you have the financial resources should you get sick and are unable to earn an income for any period of time.

Here are just four ways a Canada critical illness insurance policy could help you:

  1. Pay for financial obligations – Including you mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, and so on.
  2. Keep your independence – Make any modifications to your home or vehicle, or hire a caretaker to help.
  3. Pay for medical services – Help offset costs for medication or treatments not covered by your Provincial Healthcare provider.
  4. Relieve the pressure – Gives you the freedom to spend your time however you think may be most conducive for recovering, including spending time with family.

Is critical illness insurance worth it?

The answer to this question is personal. Everyone places a different value on their peace of mind, knowing they are financially secure in the event of becoming sick or incapacitated. Other people may prefer to forego insurance premiums and would rather save up a rainy day fund to cover critical illness expenses, should they occur. When deciding how you feel about critical illness insurance keep in mind that most Canadians have a reasonable probability that they will develop a critical illness by the time they are 65.

What affects critical illness insurance cost?

There are a number of considerations that can affect the cost of critical illness insurance rates:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Amount of coverage
  • Smoking and drinking status
  • Health history
  • Current health
  • Occupation
  • Family History

Can I get combined life and critical illness insurance?

Many Canadian insurance companies offer disability insurance and critical illness insurance together. These bundled or combined disability and critical illness insurance policies can often help you save money over time.

What’s the difference between disability and critical illness insurance?

There are three main differences between disability and critical illness insurance:

  • Critical illness insurance pays out as a lump sum and typically sooner than disability insurance.
  • Critical illness does not require proof of income while disability insurance does.
  • Critical illness insurance policies are typically less expensive than disability insurance.

Disability insurance protects your income against the risk of a disability that would prevent you from working. Disability insurance will only pay out a portion of your income, until you are able to return to work.

Critical illness insurance however, pays the benefit after a diagnosis of a serious life-altering illness, regardless of whether you have a current income or not, or if you are able to work or not.

Is critical illness insurance taxable?

A critical illness insurance benefit payout is usually not taxable and comes in the form of lump sum payment, for you to spend in whatever way you wish.

Furthermore, any employer-paid critical insurance premiums are not a taxable benefit to the employee.

Do You Still Have Questions?

At Benefit Strategies Inc., critical illness insurance is just one aspect of our executive benefit solutions to help balance the benefit requirements of owners and managers.

If you have more questions that this critical illness insurance FAQ couldn’t answer, please call 1-780-437-5070 to speak with one of our executive benefit advisors today, or contact us online for a free Consultation.