11.4.3 The main methods of estate planning

For answers to many questions about estate planning, go to the Wills and estate planning page on the GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca website from the Ontario Securities Commission.

Simple estates

Here are some simple ways to manage your estate and reduce costs:


It's easy to make a mistake or to write a confusing will—and you won't be there to fix the problem. Legal advice is almost always beneficial. Most lawyers and notaries have a low-cost service for simple wills. They can also alert you to other issues you may not be aware of.


For more information about arranging or prepaying a funeral, go to the Consumer Information section of the Board of Funeral Services website.

Example: Let's say you leave your children a cottage that has been in the family for many years. If the value has increased, it could be subject to capital gain taxes, which become due when the property is transferred. If the children can't afford to pay the taxes, they may have to sell in a hurry. They may not get the best price in a rush sale and may lose something that has a special meaning to the family. If you have enough life insurance, it will cover the cost of the tax.

There may be tradeoffs

Estate planning is an important part of managing your money and meeting your financial goals. But, as with other financial choices, you may have to trade off different values. For example:

When you think about your estate, review your options with an experienced financial professional. Ensure that you keep enough flexibility to continue to meet your current needs and financial goals while arranging for the future.

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