Testimonial from Ludovic: planning your estate

Ludovic: a young heir with two feet firmly on the ground

Even though he was aware of his dad's deteriorating health—he'd been sick for five years—it was still a big shock for Ludovic Laforce when the latter passed away in 2012. Barely out of his teens, he had to deal with his grief and had the extra worry of making sure to not squander his dad's legacy.

Knowing time wasn't on his side, Ludovic's dad sat down and planned his estate. The 47-year-old was going to leave the farm and family property to his wife, who was then going to sell them and give a portion of the transaction to Ludovic. Knowing his son, the farmer wanted him to acquire some maturity before giving him his entire share of the inheritance. Ludovic would get an initial percentage upon his father's death, and the rest when he turns 25.

The initial amount was still large and, despite his father's best precautions, Ludovic was completely lost: "I had trouble handling $1,000, imagine now dealing with what I got from my dad!" He thought of running away, to explore Europe, to fill the void his dad left behind. "I went through different phases, I tried to keep both feet on the ground and I told myself that it wasn't true, that I would not go crazy."

When his mom suggested that he see an advisor at Desjardins, he didn't think twice. After going through a trying estate settlement process, meeting with an advisor completely reassured him. "I was afraid that people would think I changed," he confided. "At Desjardins, I felt that I was human."

Finding his bearings, in life and with his finances

Sitting in his advisor's office, Ludovic had tons of questions. He had no idea what to do with this inheritance; he only knew he didn't want "to lose it". This type of delicate situation comes up frequently during asset transfers. His advisor took the time to ask him about his future projects, his short- and long-term plans, his expectations, his dreams, and his fears. The advisor told him how the stock market worked, drew a simple picture of different types of investment vehicles and explained to him the differences between investment portfolios, based on his situation as a young heir.

Together, Ludovic—then aged 19—and his advisor agreed on a game plan that would allow him to manage his inheritance smartly. He could also enjoy life and carry out his projects. Ludovic left his advisor's office feeling much better and relieved.

"My advisor really gave me the tools to help me learn and grow. I needed to learn more to make the right decisions and Desjardins taught me so much. I've allowed myself a few well-calculated follies since then, like going to Paris, because if there's one thing I learned from my dad's situation is that you never know what tomorrow can bring," said Ludovic.

A son's dream; a father's pride

Today, Ludovic has finished his fashion studies and works for a renowned cosmetics brand. He's now 26 years old and has received the rest of his inheritance. He lives in a condo that he recently bought in Montreal using his investments. He regularly speaks with his advisor on how to ensure better management of his assets. When asked if he has any regrets on how he handled the situation, Ludovic promptly answers: "None! But one thing is certain; I wouldn't have the same understanding of money if I didn't have the support I got with planning my investments. I also know the importance of having a will or insurance coverage for myself. One day, when I have my own heirs, that could help them achieve their dreams."

Despite losing his father, Ludovic is pleased to be where he's at. "I'm happy to have gained so much financial maturity. I always wonder if my dad would be proud of me, of the life I live and of how I use that money. But I think what he'd be most proud of is knowing that I gave myself the chance to do what I wanted."

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