Planning your Estate in 2021: What to Expect

2020 has been a year to remember, filled with a number of surprising events and monumental changes.  The biggest takeaway from this past year has been the importance of preparing for the unexpected!  Setting up an estate plan will help ensure your family is protected in the event of a worst-case scenario.  The team at CBM Lawyers spoke to Garden Hill Cremation and Funeral Services in regards to how people can best plan their estates in the New Year.  Regardless of age or health, planning for the unexpected is one of the best ways to protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones in the event of a tragic loss. 

Update Your Will

Regularly updating your Will is a key part of estate planning.  Over time, people’s preferences and situations can change and that means a Will prepared years ago can become less representative of their wishes.  Again, regardless of one’s age, you should have a Will that effectively organizes and distributes your assets amongst your family and friends.  While these can be difficult choices to make, having a Will in place protects your assets from being distributed according to the legislation, which may be contrary to your wishes.   If you are a parent or responsible for a dependent, your Will should state the next care provider in your absence.  By creating a Will, you can name the chosen legal Guardian of your children, especially if they are under the age of majority. As time progresses, your named Guardian may also change. Updating your Will at the start of 2021 is a smart choice for ensuring an organized start to the New Year.

Communicate your funeral wishes

Your estate plan should not only outline the plans for your assets, but also the plans for your remains on death. It’s a difficult topic for many to discuss, however, having a plan of intent for your body relieves the burden from your loved ones when the time comes.  Knowing if you prefer cremation or burial takes the burden of choice off of your family and can provide some peace of mind for those who are suffering a loss.  Funeral homes offer the ability to preplan arrangements, as well as the ability to prepay for services.  For some, easing the financial burden, as well as the emotional decision-making, is an ideal option. It is important that you convey your wishes to your family members and Executor beforehand. While many people include this information in their Will, the information becomes particularly relevant at the time of a person’s passing.  Many times the Will is not located in sufficient time to provide the deceased’s wishes in this aspect. 

Speak to a Lawyer

To arrange for an estate plan, it is best practice to speak to a lawyer to ensure all aspects are addressed.  Lawyers can facilitate the process by providing counsel on the choices you make in your Will.  By choosing to work with and pay a lawyer to draw up your Will, you are avoiding the potential of challenges for your family members, as well as legal fees, after your passing. When you ensure you have a Will and other estate planning documents in place, you are not just purchasing a legal agreement, you are buying peace of mind.    


CBM Lawyers is a community-based law firm with offices located in Langley, Aldergrove, Walnut Grove, and Maple Ridge. The firm provides legal services, specializing in Family Law, Wills, Estates, and Trusts. Contact a CBM Team member to learn more.

Garden Hill Cremation and Funeral Service have been caring for loved ones and their families since 1937. Located in Maple Ridge, Garden Hill offers premium services in the most challenging of times. Contact them to learn more.