A Q&A with Monique Trepanier, Estate & Trust Consultant at Scotia Wealth Management

May 2, 2018

Mailey Rogers Group is dedicated to providing financial resources that engage, inform and empower our clients and community. Today, we’re sharing a Q&A between Kim Mailey and Monique Trepanier. Monique is a valuable member of our extended team who is giving a seminar on May 8, 2018 entitled, “Life and Legislation Change: So Should Your Will”. To reserve your seat, please Tannis Fuller.

Kim Mailey: We’re very pleased that you’re giving this seminar. What should Mailey Rogers Group clients and guests expect to learn from it?

Monique Trepanier: Thanks, Kim! This seminar is about helping clients understand the importance of updating their estate plan. We often see clients who feel that their affairs are in order because they have a will in place when really, it’s been years since they’ve reviewed and updated it. They may have a sense of false comfort and confidence since personal circumstances change over time, and so do our laws. It is important to be aware of how both of these things affect your overall estate plan. For example, your will may be interpreted differently than it would have been had you died prior to March 31, 2014 when BC’s Wills, Estates and Succession Act (“WESA”) came into force. It is also important to review elements such as your choice of executor – are they still resident in the province, able and willing to take on the task? Have your beneficiaries’ circumstances changed such that you should be considering a different distribution plan? Do you have incapacity planning documents in place so that someone can act on your behalf if you are still alive but unable to make your own financial or health decisions? Relationships change and people’s lives don’t always go as planned – there could be a marriage or divorce that has not been taken into account, an unexpected death, a change in health or mental capacity, and so on. What was once appropriate may no longer be – the key is to address these changes in your estate plan.

KM: Tell us about how you work with clients of Mailey Rogers Group.

MT: My role is to act as a guide and provide as much information as possible throughout the estate planning process. I ask a lot of questions and look at the complete wealth management picture before making any recommendations. We’ll discuss things such as how your assets are held, who you intend to benefit after you’re gone, plus your family’s needs and wishes. Together, we look at everything in the context of current laws and talk about any missing elements to your estate plan, or improvements that could be made to your current documents. If the client would like Scotiatrust to act as his or her executor, we’ll connect with the client’s lawyer and help facilitate the process while also reviewing matters as appropriate with other specialists at Scotia Wealth Management to make sure everyone is on the same page, working toward the same end goal.

Some clients require solutions for specific circumstances, such as a couple with no one close-by that they wish to name as their executor, or a parent of a child with a disability or a child who has an addiction issue or difficulty managing money who may require a lifelong trust. We also look at incapacity planning documents, such as Powers of Attorney and Representation Agreements. Many clients are surprised to learn about all the resources that are available to them through Scotiatrust – for example, we have philanthropic advisory services and solutions for clients wanting to benefit charity, tax services for individuals and trusts, and a day to day money management solution, called Personal Office, that is appealing to seniors who aren’t ready to give up control to someone under a power of attorney, but want help paying their bills and accessing elder care services. My role is to look at a client’s whole estate and offer guidance that helps achieve their goals.

KM: Why is estate planning so important?

MT: When you don’t have a current, comprehensive estate plan, it can be devastating for your family. That’s not an overstatement – we see heartache, stress and in many cases, significant unnecessary expenses. We want to circumvent this for our clients whenever possible. It can be hard for some people to have these conversations, because it involves hard decisions and addressing their mortality. People can get stuck on one thing and struggle to move past it. We help them through these challenges because the end result is so important. Finally, we make sure they revisit the plan from time to time so it remains appropriate. Again, that’s really what this next seminar is all about – ensuring that your will and estate plan change to reflect your life as well as changes in the law.

KM: Thanks so much, Monique.

MT: You’re very welcome.