Estate Planning is typically not something that individuals or couples enjoy discussing. As a result, this important aspect of financial planning often gets pushed aside. Left unattended, your wishes may not be honoured. While Canada does not have a so-called “estate tax”, we do have taxes based on the premise of “deemed dispositions” upon death.
Estate Planning Services
Taxation of Your Estate
When you or your spouse dies, the taxes that would normally be payable from the “deemed disposition” rules are deferred, with the surviving spouse taking on the investments and other assets at the cost paid by the deceased. Only if the surviving spouse chooses to sell some assets will there be taxes on those assets sold.
Unfortunately, this deferral does not last forever. When the surviving spouse passes, the entire estate becomes subject to the deemed disposition rules. This can lead to significant taxes owed by the estate. The good news is, if you have the means, many wealthy households can insure this tax liability for pennies on the dollar with some early planning and proper life insurance.
We can assist with tax planning strategies, however you should always seek the advice of your accounting professional for specific tax advice.
Your Will is a document that outlines your wishes upon death. It is crucial that this document is drafted well and with considerable thought. It is best to utilize the services of someone who actively practices in this area of law, as many legal battles can occur if your wishes are not clearly understood.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An enduring power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person that you trust the ability to manage your financial affairs on your behalf if you become incapable of dealing with these matters yourself. This includes paying bills, filing tax returns, overseeing investment decisions, banking and any other financial matters important to the individual.
A personal directive is a legal document that places someone you trust in a position to make legally binding decision related to your health. If you become incapacitated and you are unable to make decisions on your healthcare it is always best to have your loved ones empowered to carry out your wishes as you intended.
Utilizing Trusts in Estate Planning
The next generation in your family inherits the wealth that you have worked to build your entire life. Would you want to give this large sum of money to an 18-year old with no strings attached? We doubt you would. That’s why we work with a number of estate lawyers who specialize in drafting trust conditions to manage wealth on behalf of beneficiaries usually for a specified period of time, maybe age 25? We can help you communicate your wishes to the legal professional and incorporate planning strategies to maximize the value of your estate rollover tailored to your situation.