A.T. Financial Newsletter
4 ways we can facilitate a smooth,
effective family meeting
According to a recent poll from a major Canadian financial institution, more than half of Canadians are expecting an inheritance.1 And yet, few of us actually discuss this with our families. In that same survey, 61% of Canadians whose mother or father had died with a will had never spoken to their parents about the terms of those wills.

The fact is, most of us dread talking about estate planning, family finances, and just about everything related to aging, illness, or death. Procrastinate no longer! Let's work together to take charge of having this important dialogue with your aging parents and/or your adult children. Specifically, we can help you in the following areas.

Establishing parameters
A good place to start is by determining the specific points you want to discuss. Your will? Ownership of the family cottage or other sentimental assets? Healthcare, long-term care, or end-of-life decision-making?

Beware of overwhelming yourself or your participants by trying to do too much in one sitting. It's possible that two (or more) meetings could be more productive and constructive than one.
The MONEY file
Choosing attendees
Depending on the specifics of the meeting's agenda, you might want to ask your children and/or parents, siblings, or other beneficiaries to attend. It may also be appropriate to invite people from outside your immediate family - for example, your legal counsel, accountant, caregiver, or power of attorney.

Facilitating the meeting
There are a number of ways you might choose to conduct your meeting, such as as a workshop or roundtable discussion, rather than as a presentation. You may find it useful to have us act as your facilitator, to guide the discussion and keep things on topic. With a clear agenda and an impartial third-party facilitator, the meeting may be more productive and less emotional.

Following up
After the meeting, we can help you reach out to the attendees to make sure your key points were clearly communicated. If there were any next steps to be carried out (for example, forms to be filled out or documents notarized), we can ensure they are being completed.
1 Investors Group, "Trillion Dollar Wealth Transfer - Myth or Reality?" February 2012.
Protect your executor with liability insurance
Most of us know that acting as executor for an estate carries a significant burden of responsibility. But what you might not realize is that the executor is personally liable for any errors or omissions that happen while the estate is under the executor's watch.

Given that executors frequently are trusted family members with little or no experience in the role, this opens up the possibility that your executor could be held financially responsible for mistakes or negligence in settling your estate. Likewise, if you have been named as a loved one's executor, that onus could fall on you.

In addition to seeking financial restitution for mistakes and oversights (whether intentional or not), beneficiaries may seek compensation for anything from favouritism, diminishing the value of the estate, conflict of interest, and poor decisionmaking, to fraud.

One way to protect your estate, your heirs, and your executor from the costly consequences of such errors is with executor insurance. This is an insurance policy that specifically covers the costs of negligence, errors, omissions, and legal fees should your executor need to go to court to defend his or her actions.

Executor insurance can be a small price to pay for peace of mind. Policies are remarkably affordable for the protection and security they offer and they are available for virtually any size of estate.

Please call our office to discuss how this kind of policy might benefit your family.
For more information,
please contact us at

(647) 833-2782