Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of planning for tomorrow today. It is ensuring that your goals and wishes for the assets and wealth that you have accumulated in your lifetime makes it to your family, friends and charities (beneficiaries) in as efficient way as possible.

Goals of Estate Planning

  • Preserving and/or enhancing the value of the estate to the extent possible
  • Ensuring delivery of the intended amounts to the chosen individuals; and
  • Minimizing taxes, where possible

Where to start

  • Make sure that a beneficiary has been identified for all RRSPs, TFSAs, Pension Plan funds and Life Insurance policies, and that they are updated if need be.
  • Ensure that jointly held assets (e.g. your house) would pass to the joint owner without probate fees. If the joint owner is your spouse, this transfer can take place tax-free.
  • Ensure that an updated, legal will is maintained. This is extremely important because it will ensure that your assets are passed on to your intended beneficiaries in the most cost effective and timely manner.
  • Ensure that an appropriate Power of Attorney document is in place so that a person that you trust will act on your behalf to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated and unable to manage your own financial affairs.
  • Take inventory of your assets so that you have a clear picture of what may be in your estate. You should also work with a financial advisor so that they can help you project what the after-tax value of your estate may be