Wealth Transfer & Estate Planning Strategies

Estate planning is an indispensable part of wealth management, mainly if your estate involves substantial possessions or complex issues. When appropriately regulated, an estate plan can reduce the taxes and expenses of your estate, make simpler and accelerate the transition of assets to the next generation and safeguard that your beneficiaries are secured. Estate Planning involves the will, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gift, and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of legal representative.

Will your estate have enough cash: We have all heard that life has two certainties – death and taxes. You need to know the two often coincide. While Canada does not have an official death, estate or inheritance tax, there are some postponed taxes that become payable on death. There are other obligations that need to be considered as well. Without proper planning, an estate may have to face large and unexpected cash shortages. Death triggers demands for cash. These demands can force the sale of your best assets. And reduce what’s left for your family.

Do you have a valid Will: Will planning strategies – Preparation of a valid will and its related estate planning considerations should be the cornerstone of a proper estate plan? In spite of good intentions, far too many people die without having a valid will. The will is a legal document that details the process for distributing the deceased’s assets in an orderly and tax-efficient manner. Anyone who has a spouse or children, obligations from a prior relationship, or is simply concerned about how their property will be distributed after their death should make a will. Although there are do-it-yourself will kit and software packages readily available, using the services of a legal adviser is highly recommended. What you may think is a simple estate may have complexities that cannot be properly addressed without legal help.

If someone dies without a will (intestate), it may require going to court before the assets can be distributed. Without a will, personal property will be distributed according to the laws of the province in which the testator lived when they died. Real estate will be dealt with based on the intestacy rules of the province in which the property is located. Guardians for minor children will be appointed by the courts. Special-needs family members may not receive the same priority by the courts as the testator might wish.

Should You Prepare Your Own Will:  It is quite normal to want to save money on any purchase, legal fees included. However, a Will is a particularly important document that must be written properly. After all, it can’t be corrected after you die. Most estates are not as simple as the Will Kit may lead you to believe. A poorly written Will can cause more problems than no Will at all. A judge can even declare it invalid. And there is no legal recourse if you prepare it yourself.

Have a Proper legal Will – Contact Our office for Will planning strategies & guidance

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