estate planning

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.

Should You Prepare Your Own Will?

Earl wants to control the distribution of his estate when he dies and feels that a Will is a good idea. He had heard the ads on radio and TV about do-it-yourself Wills and bought a National Legal Will Kit.

Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Ralph became concerned about what would happen to his hard-earned estate after seeing what had happened to some people he knew.

Vivian had remarried and chose to cut costs by using a do-it-yourself will kit. Because she had not allowed for the obligations set out in her deceased husband's will, it took years and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees to settle her estate. As her cash assets earned income while held in trust, her heirs had to pay income taxes on income they hadn't even received.

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.

Passing it on to Your Heirs

Ralph and Mary have accumulated a nice estate, a good portion of it in cash. They want to leave it all to their children when they die, but they also want to do something for them today. Being part of the Savings Generation, they are reluctant to give large sums to their kids today, as they are part of the Spending Generation. Ralph and Mary also want to treat their children as fairly as possible.

When someone dies, their estate falls into three basic categories:

Part 1 - Proceeds that can be passed on by way of a named beneficiary designation.

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