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Why Clever People Get Estate Planning Advice:  Even When Their Kids Don't Want to Talk About It!

Clever people get estate planning advice. It not only puts their mind at ease, it makes things way easier for their loved ones when they die. Let's face it, none of us are getting out of here alive.

Despite us avoiding this conversation for like, forever, our Mom, Elma Hemminger not only sought to organize her life well before she died, true to her form, she arranged and paid for her funeral in advance of her death.

Estate Planning Advice:  Because the Elma Hemminger's of this World are Organized!

Although people usually seek help to draft their wills, estate planning advice is sought to determine all kinds of things:

  • You will minimize the tax payable and probate fees (sometimes referred to as inheritance tax) thus protecting your assets from the “tax man.” Although this was not an issue for us at all because our Mom had few assets, it might be something you may wish to do for your loved ones.
  • You will protect your estate from family members who might become upset if they feel you have not left them enough of your estate and instead provided portions of your estate to someone else; again, people get upset if they get written out of a will unexpectedly. When seeking advice, you can avoid this problem.
  • You might arrange for the orderly transfer of a family business;
  • You will minimize the overall hassle your loved ones will have to deal with in terms of distributing your assets upon death, dealing with arrangements for your funeral or celebration of life, and disposing of your remains according to your wishes. It can make all of this hassle free, or at least way less of a stressful experience for your grieving family and friends. This is what our Mom did. Although we did not want to face the prospect of her actually dying, when the time came, it made the whole process way less stressful.

This is how cool my Mom was when she got her estate planning advice. Although Elma Hemminger had not much in the way of assets when she passed, she wanted to make sure that her funeral would be the best, well, ever. So, you guessed it. She planned and paid for her funeral arrangements well before she died.

Although none of us kids wanted to talk with her about it, she forced us to take a business card and look at a pamphlet. She said, "when I go, which I am bound to at some point, you give these folks a call and they will know exactly what to do." On the pamphlet was the name and contact information for a funeral home. When the day did come that our dear Mom left this life, all we had to do was notify the funeral home. Arrangements were made, and things were already in place, right down to the songs she wanted sung. How cool was that?

Although Elma's funeral was in Port Coquitlam, the Royal Oak burial park here in Victoria, British Columbia has the same kind of plan.

We loved our Mom, Elma deeply. Although all of her kids were all deeply grieving at the time of her passing, we were also comforted knowing that Elma, the cheerful person she was, arranged her own funeral.She chose the funeral home, the hymns that were sung, the size of the room in which the funeral would occur, leaving only the decision about what kind of sandwiches would be served later. Although I still miss my Mom a LOT, I remember the day of her funeral with fondness. We were able to celebrate the life that she lived and the love that she gave us with very little stress in terms of needed organization.

Seriously Mom, your awesomeness continues in all of our hearts. 

By Val Hemminger, Lawyer and daughter of the best Mom ever