Category Archive for: ‘Estate Planning’

What value is financial advice?


It all starts with a consultation: Financial advice can assist you, whether your goal is to reduce debt, buy a house, save for retirement or simply pay the monthly bills, you don’t have to do it alone. Regardless of one’s stage of life, we can all benefit from the professional counsel and services of an advisor. Milestones such as buying …

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Do you have a power of attorney


Power of attorney (POA) gives someone else the authority to make important financial decisions on your behalf. Here’s why you may need one, and how to choose the right person, the attorney, for the job. What if, because of an illness or accident, you weren’t able to make decisions relating to your finances or health care, either temporarily or permanently? …

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Case Study – Estate Conservation

Chess And Will

This was an interesting client case for estate conservation and estate growth that I started working on 15 years ago and the first major estate planning project that I partnered up with Manulife’s tax and estate planning group. This case involved a retired farm couple in their mid 70s, who had a very significant wealth, but who were also very …

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Charitable Gifting Opportunities


Government funding to the more than 75,000 registered charities in Canada continues to be dramatically reduced. This leaves many charities facing the possibility of being unable to maintain the same level of service. There has never been a better time for private and corporate citizens to support a favorite charity through charitable gifting. Many people would like to donate more …

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Your Will: Legacy or Disaster

What Will You Leave Behind1

I have commented before on the folly of having wills that are out of date, or worse yet, having no will at all. This is especially serious for farmers or small business owners who have built up significant wealth over their lifetimes. When asking people if their wills are current or what their children think about them, the response is …

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Willing Wisdom

Grandma Holding Babys Hand1

Willing Wisdom – 7 Questions to Ask Before You Die by Thomas William Deans speaks on how you leave your money and possessions is as important as what you leave. A staggering 50% of North Americans have no will. For those who do, most wills remain badly outdated.Dying without a will can leave a legacy of chaos and anger for …

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Dependents and Estate Planning

Written Concept1

Considering adult dependents and estate planning together is not always a common occurrence in estate planning, but this case study is interesting nonetheless. The case provides a cautionary tale of making a client think very carefully about dependents when doing their estate plan. The original post can be read here.

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Estate Planning Checklist – Part 1

Papes Glassses2

An estate plan is about continuity.  And a well thought out estate plan is a critical part of the financial planning process. To help plan the distribution of assets after we’re gone, consider this brief Estate Planning checklist. The Will The foundation of a good estate plan is our will. It’s the only way to ensure that assets are transferred …

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Life Is What Happens When

Calculating Money

Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans – John Lennon That famous quote by John Lennon is a fitting lead into the subject of one of my major concerns today.  There are three major personal financial risks that Canadians face in their lifetime that most don’t have adequate protection for. 1) The risk of dying too …

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Conserve or Equalize Your Estate with an Estate Bond

More Planning

An estate bond is a tax-efficient strategy that immediately increases the value of your estate.  More importantly, it allows you to pass assets to your heirs or shareholders tax-free.  It’s also a wealth protector that can preserve estate value that would be lost to debt or taxes on premature death in a cost effective way.  All in all, it’s a …

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Liability Issues of Administrating a Will

Will Glasses1

Many people will become executors (now called a Personal Representative) for the wills of their parents, family members or close friends.  But the job’s responsibilities may expose them to significant liability.  The biggest risk to a Personal Representative is the will itself, because when it’s unclear, it can put them in a dangerous position.  When people who use do-it-yourself will …

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Keep the Cottage in the Family


Spending time at the family cottage creates a legacy of priceless memories.  Your kids and grandchildren love it just as much as you do you.  The longer you’ve owned it, the greater its market value.  Emotional appreciation is enjoyed tax-free (until further notice) but financial appreciation gets taxed.  Wouldn’t you love to know the most fiscal way to keep the …

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Nine Benefits of Segregated Fund Policies

Financial Plan In Sky1

Among the many benefits of segregated funds, is the value of estate planning advantages. Following is a condensed outline of what some of those benefits involve: Image licensed through Shutterstock    

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Estate Planning in the Digital Age

Laptop In Classic Library1

In today’s digital age, online photos and music are considered digital assets that should be factored into estate planning.  A recent study found that a large majority of Canadian boomers are actively involved in online areas such as finance, social networking and digital media.  These same boomers are also involved in caring for aging parents.  This has led to an …

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Estate Planning Simplified!


When you die, would your rather the cow or the milk went down the CRA tax rat hole? Unfortunately, when you die, your money can be allocated three ways: Your heirs CRA A favorite charity …BUT, you can only pick two of these.  And, you might have to sell the cow!

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The Financial Impact Of An Unexpected Death

Wife Son1

Sitting down for a chat about your or your spouse’s impending death is a pretty morbid topic. Most couples can think of more pleasant things to discuss during their free time together. In a typical family, one handles some aspects of the household finances while their partner takes care of others, keeping one another informed and making major financial decisions …

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Talk To Your Family About Your Will

Gavel Will1

Remember those movie reading of the will scenes?  The script is always the same; the survivors, still in their funeral duds, sweat it out while the family lawyer dispassionately sows the seed for domestic disappointment, mayhem, even murder. Hollywood’s version of estate planning is a power play from beyond the grave – the dearly departed’s chance to get even, or …

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Charitable Gifting Tips and Ideas


With today’s government cutbacks, inflation, and rising costs squeezing the average Canadian, the result is that many charities are having a hard time raising funds.  The majority of Canadians contribute in some shape or form to charity, as evidenced by the coin boxes in many business locations, the regular stream of mail and advertizing pitches asking for donations. Here are …

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Estate Planning Checklist – Part 2


Ownership, beneficiary designations and Trusts Business planning Foreign considerations One common issue that I run across is lack of understanding of how some assets are taxed in the estate.  For example, when the first spouse passes away, their RRSP or RRIF transfers to the surviving spouse tax free, but on the last death any remaining registered assets are cashed in …

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Estate Planning Checklist – Part 1


Having an estate plan is essential if you want to effectively manage, maintain and transfer one’s wealth to future generations.  But getting organized to do this is often the most difficult step. Many start into the process and don’t finish, because emotions and lack of family communication often get in the way.  Here’s a checklist to help you identify your …

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