estate planning

Yes, Virginia, there are death taxes in Canada

Ottawa dropped Estate Taxes about forty years ago. All the provinces did away with Succession Duties by 1985. We thought that was the end of taxes arising at death. We were wrong.

Ask yourself these questions:

The Inheritance Twist

There are many Baby Boomers who are anticipating hitting the jackpot via inheritances in the coming years as a solution to their own financial planning needs. We have heard many media reports about the tidal wave of money expected to move between the generations over the next 15 years or so estimated to be upwards of $1-trillion.

An HSBC report released last September found that 39% of working people are banking on some type of inheritance with a median value of about $77,000. While some 57% of fully retired people expect to leave some sort of inheritance.

Advice to a Future Widow

Most wives outlive their husbands. Women live longer than men the same age and tend to marry men who are older than they are. So, if you're a wife, it is more likely you will become a widow than your husband becoming a widower.

Knowing this, how can you prepare for it?

First of all, when widowhood strikes, don't do anything drastic. Do not sell the house or car. Don't decide to move to another town. You have just suffered a very traumatic experience and your system needs time to adjust to it. Take your time.

Leaving Money to Charity? There is a Better Way

Recently, a client wanted to leave all of their money to two charities through their Will. They wanted to leave a legacy to a couple of charities that were close to them and they didn't have any close family members.

Here is her situation: Age 80, $550,000 in savings (75% non-registered and TFSA), with income of $70,000 annually from pensions and RIFS while living in an upscale retirement residence. She was also spending an additional $20,000 a year from savings to support her lifestyle.

Inheritance Doesn't Have to Wait

The Baby Boomers are making history as the largest retirement migration ever seen. However, it's their parents who hold the most massive accumulation of wealth and it's about to transfer to future generations. Estimated to be well in excess of a trillion dollars, the traditional rules of inheritance may be about to change.

Where's the money?

When Dora died on August 1, 2008, most of her assets passed by Will to her adult children and were therefore subject to probate. $250,000 was in GICs and a fairly rapid transfer of this money to her heirs was expected. But that was not the case. They had to wait until March 2010 for it. That's right, almost two years.

The Financial & Emotional Ravage of Alzheimer's

The Baby Boomers have become known as the sandwich? generation as they are wedged between the dependency needs of aging parents and the needs of their children. Those hit the hardest have been the families ravaged by the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Baby Boomers now find themselves reaching the age when the disease is more likely to strike. Very few are prepared for the emotional and financial toll this degenerative disease can take.

Using a Trust To Avoid Probate

Estate planning is a complex topic, and there are many different facets that have to be considered. One overriding concern many people have is doing something with their assets so they reduce the amount of income tax that may be owed. This is an obvious area for expert advice. However, it is important to realize there are several other factors which have to be taken into account when organizing your estate.

Estate Planning Tips and Traps

Julia wants to make sure that her estate passes to her heirs with as little hassle and cost as possible when she dies. She knows she needs a will and decides to buy a do-it-yourself will kit. When she opened it, she soon discovered some serious shortcomings.

Distributing assets to your heirs

Estate planning is much easier when everything is well documented.

The following worksheet can help you itemize how you want the assets in your estate distributed. It will also be helpful when preparing or updating your Will.

Be sure to consult with your advisor as to which assets may have potential tax liabilities so that you can address these concerns in your estate plan.

Click here to view worksheet.

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