This article was created to give you an outline of what you need
to do to make your estate plan complete. You will need advisers,
including a financial adviser, lawyer and possibly a tax professional
to apply the most current tax, trust, estate and family laws of
your province to your personal situation. Our comprehensive estate
planning checklist and recommended reading list will help to expand
your knowledge. Above all, we hope this article inspires you and
gives you the confidence to deal with the challenges associated
with handling estate matters.
more of your money in the hands of your heirs; prevents the government
from getting more than it's entitled to
5Minimizes income taxes and probate fees (no probate fees in Quebec)
5Designates charitable gifts; declares your personal care preferences, including terminal medical treatment and organ donation intentions
5Provides for income splitting that has tax advantages
5Distributes your assets as you intended; provides funds to cover funeral expenses, as well as immediate and/or long-term family living costs
5Ensures business continuity, if you own or manage a small business
5Identifies the persons chosen to carry out your last wishes and care for your minor children
Estate? What Estate?
Too often, estate planning professionals hear, "I wish I'd known about this sooner" from distressed family members. Whatever your status - male, female, married, widowed, divorced, single, young, old, middle class or wealthy - everyone needs estate planning. Unfortunately, too few people follow this advice.
A 1998 Decima Research survey, conducted
for the Canadian Bar Association, revealed that only 49 per cent
had engaged in some form of estate planning -24 per cent on their
own and 21 per cent with the help of a professional. The research
also revealed that 47 per cent did not have a will at all.
"do nothing" option is not in the best interests of your family,
your business or other relationships. As the world we live in becomes
increasingly characterized by legal action and government intervention,
estate planning is something everyone should do.
Your Estate Plan - Step by Step
many Canadians think of estate planning, they think solely of a
will. In truth, it's much more. This step-by-step checklist will
take you through the entire estate planning process and ensure that
you cover all the bases. The rules covering the legal concepts outlined
in this brochure may vary from province to province. Ask your financial
adviser or lawyer for more information.