estate planning

Leaving a Legacy

Recently retired Ross and Penny have an estate planning challenge. They've accumulated a comfortable net worth, with a good portion of it in liquid investments. They plan to leave everything to their three adult children, but they also want to help them financially right now. The problem is that all of their children have a different relationship with money than Ross and Penny. In a nutshell, the parents are savers and the children spenders. If they give large sums of money, Ross and Penny would want their children to use the cash to improve their financial lives. Would they do that?

Wealth Transfer Tips

Wealth transfer can be a complex process for most families but especially wealthy ones. The range of issues involved can include family values, objectives and relationships; business continuity; investment strategy and insurance, taxes and ownership structures, amongst others. At the same time questions of control, responsibility and timing are raised.

Choose Wisely

Almost everyone agrees that it's a good idea to have a will. However, it is estimated that about half of Canadians do not have one, and it is likely that many wills are out of date, perhaps even invalid.

Not having a will can make the sorting out of your estate unnecessarily expensive, complicated and time consuming. When having your will prepared, one of the most important decisions you will make is who you would like as executor.

Buying and Selling the Business when an Owner Dies

Like many business owners, Rick and Warren thought it would be a simple process to continue the business when one of them died.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Rick and Warren had a printing company and were equal partners. Warren died suddenly. Warren's shares passed to his widow, Sarah, who became Rick's new partner. She expected a regular paycheque to continue, even though she knew nothing about the printing business and could not contribute to the daily operations of the company.

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.

How Important is it to Have a Will ?

Most Canadians want to pass their life savings on to their heirs. The assets remaining once retirement needs are met will be distributed more effectively if there is a properly prepared will detailing the deceased's wishes. Many people mistakenly believe that this issue is far in the future. Preparation of a valid will and its related estate planning considerations should be the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Whenever there is a change in circumstances, the will should be reviewed and updated as needed.

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