After a family member passes on, there are a number of decisions to be made by the survivors concerning the estate. We are here to help you through this difficult time.
If you've recently lost a loved one, finances are probably the last thing you want to think about. Take the time to grieve, and be aware that you don't have to grieve alone. If you need more help and support than you're able to get from your immediate family and friends, there are counseling services available in most communities to help you through the grieving process. Simply consult the Yellow Pages or search your regional portal website for a counseling centre near you. If all else fails, contact your family doctor or any hospital for help.
Financial Planning for Survivors
After a loved one passes on, there are a number of issues to be resolved. If the deceased was a key provider, you may be worried about how the loss of income will affect you and your family. Is there life insurance? Who are the listed beneficiaries of RRSPs and RRIFs? What about jointly held property and other assets? If no beneficiaries are named, these assets may simply become part of the estate.
Hopefully the deceased has left a valid and up-to-date will and named an executor. If so, the most important first step is to contact the executor and notify them. If there is no will - or in the event that you've been named executor - contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Ask Us for Help
With the loss of a loved one, you may feel that you're alone. The fact is your community is full of people and organizations that offer help and support. All you need to do is ask. From executing a will to supporting non-profit organizations that counsel the bereaved, Southwest Regional Credit Union Ltd. is here to help you find the resources that will help you through this difficult time.
Tensions can run high during a divorce. Being unaware of the various financial difficulties can compound your stress. Let us point out some of the financial concerns you should be aware of.
Deciding to Divorce
In addition to the emotional stress involved, getting a divorce can be time consuming and expensive. If you have children, shared property such as a home, or other jointly held assets, a divorce can be extremely complicated legally and financially. Even without the financial headaches involved, a divorce can cause both you and your spouse a tremendous amount of grief, and the decision to divorce should not be taken lightly.
Suing for Divorce
In Canada, it's a legal formality for one party to sue the other for divorce. A marriage is considered a legal contract. In order to end the contract, either you or your partner must sue regardless of whether there are any actual disputes involved in the divorce.
Financial Consequences of Divorce
The act of getting married linked you both in a financial sense, and those ties will need to be undone so you can move forward in your separate lives. In many cases, it's possible to agree to a fair division of assets and simply leave it at that.
Child Custody and Child Support
If your divorce involves custody rights to children, you're almost certain to end up in court. In many cases, one parent will be required to make child support payments to the other. Remember that the courts are doing their best to ensure your children are properly cared for. Loss of custody and an order to pay child support can cause serious resentment, but you must be prepared for this eventuality before you file for divorce.
Unemployment is one of life's sad realities, but it isn't the end of the world. There are many resources available to help you out financially and get you into a new position as quickly as possible.
Losing Your Job
Losing your job can be a serious financial blow, especially if it's unexpected. There are many reasons why you may find yourself unemployed. Maybe you've been fired or laid off. Maybe you quit in order to find a better job, or to move somewhere where the employment situation is better for you. Whatever the case, being unemployed is not a vacation. Your new full-time job is to find a job. Fortunately, there are many resources available to aid you financially, and to help you regain employment.
Finding a New Job
Finding a new job can be difficult and demoralizing, especially if the economy is not strong and there are few openings. Aside from searching newspapers for job postings, consider other resources that can help you find work. There are many web sites devoted to matching workers with employers, and posting an on-line resume only takes a few minutes. Notifying your friends and acquaintances that you're looking for work is another effective way to gain employment, and by having a friend refer you to an employer, you get a built in character reference. In addition, your local Human Resources Development Canada office has self-service kiosks and computer workstations configured to assist you in your job search. The tools are available, and usually all it takes to find a new job quickly is dedication and hard work - skills that any potential employer will value.
The HRDC office is also where you will go to apply for Employment Insurance benefits. If you find yourself out of work, you should immediately fill out an EI application. It may take as long as 28 days to receive any benefits from EI, so don't delay. Also, be aware that EI benefits are not guaranteed; you have to qualify to receive benefits under the Employment Insurance Act. If you have any questions, contact your local HRDC office for more information.
Budgeting Between Jobs
If you're unemployed and living on a reduced income it's a good idea to make a temporary budget. Simply taking stock of what you have and how long you need it to last can prevent you from ending up in serious financial trouble. Even if you start a new job in a couple of weeks, it may be another month before you receive your first cheque, and any reasonable budget should reflect this fact.
Whether it happens on the job or away from work, getting injured can be a major blow to your income. There are programs to help you get by. We can help you find out more.
On the Job
It's never fun to be injured on the job, but it's nice to know that if it happens to you, you'll be covered by the Workers' Compensation Board. The WCB is an organization set up to help employers create a safer working environment for their workforce; it also provides financial assistance to employees who are harmed in the course of their regular work duties.
Off the Job
Even if you are injured away from work, you may be able to receive a portion of your regular income through Employment Insurance sickness benefits. If you have worked for a certain period of time before your injury, you could get 55% of your weekly wages for a maximum period of 15 weeks. You'll need to apply for this benefit as soon after your last day of work as possible. You will need your Record of Employment stating how long you worked for your last employer(s) and how much you were earning, as well as a medical statement from your doctor stating that you're unable to work and how long your injury is expected to keep you from the workforce.
Low Income - Just Getting By
Times are unpredictable and sometimes people fall into financial difficulty. Don't panic, there is assistance available. Talk to us and let us help you through your troubles.
No one can predict the future. As a young person you may have had dreams of grandeur, or at least of making a comfortable living, but now you've discovered that the profession you trained for isn't as lucrative as you'd hoped. Or perhaps you were successful, but something's happened and you've found yourself, and your family, in financial trouble.
There are many federal and provincial/territorial programs designed to help low-income families.
Talk to Southwest Regional Credit Union Ltd.
We're here to help as well. Maybe you just need a small loan to get your business prospering again. If you have a mortgage, we can help you refinance to free up some temporary funds. Southwest Regional Credit Union Ltd. knows that even small investments in RESPs can make the difference in your children's lives. Let us help you assess your current financial needs and help you get back on track.
Long-term disability can be totally devastating. Fortunately, there are things you can do in advance to minimize the financial setbacks if you're unable to work. Let us point you toward the people most able to help.
Serious Injury or Chronic Illness
No one plans on getting sick or becoming injured, but it does happen. What can you do to minimize the devastating effects of a debilitating set-back? How can you protect your family's lifestyle if you become seriously ill? Talk to us at Southwest Regional Credit Union Ltd. about some of the options available to you.
Canada Pension Plan Disability
If you've contributed to the Canada Pension Plan, and have worked at least four of the last six years, you may be eligible for a disability benefit if something happens and you're no longer able to work. To qualify, you must be under the age of 65 and be considered disabled under Canada Pension Plan legislation.
It's a good idea to get additional health insurance if you're the main provider of the house. It's also a good idea to get this insurance before you get sick or injured. If you wait until disaster strikes insurance costs will be extremely high-you may not be able to get insurance at all.
Disability Income Protection Service
If you're currently employed, you need to consider getting this type of insurance. It will provide you with a monthly income in the event that you're disabled in some way. The amount you'll need to pay and the amount that you'll be eligible to receive will depend on your age, current income, what type of work you do and how long you want the benefits to last after you stop working.
Long-Term Care Insurance
This type of insurance will help pay the costs of getting any long-term health care you need if you become unable to take care of yourself. You can get policies that will cover an extended stay in a health care facility, or even the cost of having a licensed nurse or health care worker treat you in your own home.