Wealth Protection for you and your loved ones
Having an estate plan will:
- Ensure your assets pass to the heirs of your choice
- Facilitate efficient administration of your estate
- Reduce income taxes payable after your death and adequately fund their payment
- Provide for management of property for minors or those who lack the skill or ability to do so themselves
- Provide for guardianship of minors
- Arrange your affairs in an orderly manner to minimize the burden on your family
You should consider your intended beneficiaries, how your assets are transferred upon death and provide for the payment of any estate income tax. Estate planning can address all these considerations. Some strategies can take effect during your lifetime. Mandates, trusts, estate freezes and gifting may be part of lifetime planning. Life insurance can also play a key part.
Other important things and Considerations:
- The will: The will states who will be entrusted with administering your estate and how you wish to distribute your assets upon death.
- Power of attorney: Appointing someone to manage your affairs in the case of your subsequent incapacity. For personal matters, particularly medical treatment, this is often called a living will.
- Income tax: Because income tax is one of the driving forces behind estate planning, it is important to be familiar with its major implications on death including tax return, RRSP/RRIF, Capital gains/losses and Charitable gifts.
- Life Insurance: Insurance planning can cover estate taxes your heirs face.
- Testamentary trusts: A testamentary trust is created through your will to direct exactly how your estate’s assets will be managed and distributed to your beneficiaries.
- Estate-freezing: Allow future growth in assets to accrue in your heir’s hands.
- Inter vivos trusts: Trusts created during your lifetime, called inter vivos trusts, are a means of settling assets today, while at the same time controlling use of the assets in the future, even after your death, to accommodate a beneficiary’s needs.
- Charitable giving: Tax planning can help you support a cause without affecting your heirs.
Your Estate Liabilities.
You work hard to earn a living, save for retirement, and own property. It is important to know what your estate liabilities are in relation to: capital gains, mortgage debt, car loans, unpaid taxes, and business-related liabilities. Consider reducing these liabilities:
Reduce the impact of income taxes. Here are some methods to reduce taxes due upon your death:
- Use the spousal (and disabled child) rollover provisions of RRSPs or RRIFs.
- Leave assets that have accrued capital gains to your spouse to defer tax.
- Leave assets without capital gains to other (non-spouse) family members.
- While you are alive, gradually sell assets having capital gains, to avoid dealing with the gains all at once in your estate.
- Purchase life insurance to cover capital gains taxation in the estate.
- Taxes may be payable on gains in relation to:
- income-producing real estate, a second residence, or cottage.
- any other assets left to surviving family members, such as shares of a business.
- Consider charitable donations to lessen taxes in the estate.
Reduce probate fees. Probate fees will be based on the value of assets administered through your will. Here are some ways to reduce probate fees:
- Establish a spousal trust during your lifetime to hold assets or property for the sole use of your spouse.
- Own assets jointly with your spouse.
- Distribute assets or cash while alive.
- Name a beneficiary (not the estate) on life insurance policies.
- Include an alternate beneficiary on your life insurance policies in case your initial beneficiary predeceases you, or dies simultaneously (that way, probate fees will be avoided on the proceeds).
We can help you set up a customized Estate Plan that will preserve wealth in your family and effectively account for tax liabilities. Speak with one of our Advisors. We would be happy to work with you firstname.lastname@example.org
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