Planning an estate isn’t just for millionaires
Everyone should have a proper estate plan in place to ensure their financial matters are resolved quickly and to make sure their family and loved ones lose as little as possible to taxation. We can help you take care of all of the details – that’s what we are here for.
The importance of a will
The most important part of estate planning is ensuring that you have a valid, up-to-date will.
If you die without one, the government will distribute your estate in accordance with provincial law. Only a will can ensure your wishes are fulfilled.
The safest way to create a will is to work with an expert, as many do-it-yourself packages can leave details open to legal interpretation. Your will should be updated periodically in consultation with a professional advisor, especially as you acquire new assets or welcome a new addition to the family. You should also be aware that if you get married, your existing will becomes invalid.
How to distribute your estate
It’s more complicated than simply dividing your assets among your heirs.
You’ll need to determine a few important details first.
- Define your assets from pensions, to investments, stocks and bonds, real estate and personal property
- Note which assets you own jointly as well as who the beneficiaries are for your RRSPs and insurance policies
Then you need to decide on your goals.
- You’ll want to maximize the value of your assets and protect them as much as possible from taxation
- You’ll want to make sure you have enough liquid assets to handle your liabilities so your heirs won’t have to sell off physical or investment assets
Gifting assets before your death and establishing trusts are two good ways to help protect your assets from taxation. However, keep in mind that both strategies can be complicated by the individual tax circumstances of your survivors. We understand no one looks forward to planning their estate. We also know how important it is to you and your family that it’s done right.
Let’s start the conversation today
Get in touch with our Estate and Trust Specialist