How to prepare when the end is near

Estate planning for the terminally ill.

Deanne Gage 7 December, 2015 | 6:00PM
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Consider the sad case of someone who has just learned they have a terminal illness and have been given less than a year to live. What can be done to lessen the financial headache and ensure a smooth transition to their heirs?

Catherine Hurlburt, a senior financial planner at Assante Financial Management Ltd. in Vancouver, sees the situation as an opportunity to run what she calls a "fire drill." To start, she wants to ensure that the client's will, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations are up to date.

"I'm going to check these documents to see how old they are, what they say and make sure all the people named in them are still alive and capable and that these documents represent the client's current wishes," she says. "Sometimes they are not."

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About Author

Deanne Gage

Deanne Gage  Deanne Gage is a Toronto-based writer who has specialized in personal-finance issues since 1999. A recipient of several journalism awards, including one from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, she is also a former editor of Advisor's Edge and Advisor.ca. She can be reached at deannegage@gmail.com.

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