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Estate Planning

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Estate Planning involves more than just having a documented will. It ensures your wealth and legacy is passed on to others according to your wishes and your estate is properly managed either after your passing or if you can’t continue to manage it yourself.

Passing control of your assets to your intended beneficiaries on death is a critical concern for many Canadians. There are many issues that should be considered when formulating an estate plan, such as tax effective strategies for beneficiaries and protecting your assets from legal disputes.

Effective Estate Planning:

  • delivers your assets to the people you choose
  • maximizes the after-tax value of your assets
  • builds financial security for your dependents
  • makes it as easy as possible for the people you leave behind to handle your affairs

A good estate plan can provide you with peace of mind and help avoid potential complications for your beneficiaries. It’s wise to seek professional legal advice in relation to estate planning in light of your personal circumstances. We work in conjunction with trusted specialists that will help you establish, interpret and understand the tax implications of vital documents such as your will, power of attorney, guardianship and/or testamentary trust.

Estate planning requires consideration of both estate and non-estate assets.

Estate Assets

  • Wills cover assets and liabilities held in your name such as personal property, collectibles, cash, bank accounts, shares, and other investments. Debts and loans are also considered estate assets. Wills are an important part of estate planning but not all assets are governed by a will.
  • Testamentary trusts are established through the provisions of your will. The assets are held on behalf of the beneficiaries to whom distributions of income and capital can be made.
  • Power of Attorney appointments make important decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so, such as if you are seriously ill or medically incapacitated.
  • Enduring Power of Guardianship exists when you appoint another person or persons to make medical and lifestyle decisions in the event of your becoming mentally incapacitated.

Non-Estate Assets

  • Assets that you own with another party must be included in your estate planning and overall financial plan. These include joint tenancies, superannuation, insurance policies and family trusts.
  • Estate planning is a complex yet vital part of your comprehensive financial plan.

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