(604) 575-7900 lylek@konnerfinancial.com

Estate Planning

What happens when the children grow up and they are no longer dependent on their parents? Estate planning for mature families and retirees can bring up a number of issues including family dynamics and harmony.

What happens when the children grow up and they are no longer dependent on their parents? Estate planning for mature families and retirees can bring up a number of issues including family dynamics and harmony. One of the most difficult conversations is around fair or equal distribution of assets. Before you begin putting a plan in place, we always encourage open conversation and a family meeting between the parents and children to provide context behind decisions and therefore it minimizes the surprises and provides an opportunity for children to express their concerns.

We’ve put together an infographic checklist that can help you get started on this. We know this can be a difficult conversation so we’re here to help and provide guidance.

Adult Children

  • Fair vs Equal (also known as Equitable vs Equal) – like what’s considered to be fair may not necessarily be equal. ex. Should the daughter that’s been working in the family business for 10 years receive the same shares as the son who hasn’t worked in the family business at all?

  • Are the adult children responsible enough to handle the inheritance? Or would they spend it all?

Family Meeting

  • Encourage open conversation with parents and kids so context can be provided behind the decisions, there are no surprises and allows the kids to express their interests and concerns.

  • Facilitate a family meeting with both generations, this will help promote ongoing family unity after death and decrease the chances of resentment later.

Assets/Liabilities

  • What are your assets? Create a detailed list of your assets such as:

  • Home, Family Business Interest, Real Estate, Investments- Non registered, TFSA, RRSP, RDSP, RESP, Company Pension Plan, Insurance Policy, Property, Additional revenue sources, etc…

  • What are your liabilities? Create a detailed list of your liabilities such as:

  • Mortgage, Loans (personal, student, car), Line of Credit, Credit card, Other loans (payday, store credit card, utility etc.)

  • Understand your assets-the ownership type (joint, tenants in common, sole etc.), list who are the beneficiaries are for your assets

  • Understand your liabilities- are there any cosigners?

Make sure you have a will that:

  • Assigns an executor

  • Provide specific instructions for distribution of assets

  • Always choose 2 qualified people for each position and communicate your intentions with them to ensure they’re up for the responsibility.

Taxes and Probate

  • How much are probate and taxes? (Income tax earned from Jan 1 to date of death + Taxes on Non Registered Assets + Taxes on Registered Assets)

  • Are there any outstanding debts to be paid?

  • You’ve worked your whole life- how much of your hard earned money do you want to give to CRA?

  • How much money do you want to to give to your kids while you’re living?

Consider the following:

  • The use of trusts.

  • The use of an estate freeze if you wish to gift while you’re living.

  • Once you determine the amount of taxes, probate, debt, final expenses and gifts required, review your life insurance coverage to see if it meets your needs or if there’s a shortfall.

Execution:It’s good to go through this but you need to do this. Besides doing it yourself, here’s a list of the individuals that can help:

  • Financial Planner/Advisor (CFP)

  • Estate Planning Specialist

  • Insurance Specialist

  • Lawyer

  • Accountant/Tax Specialist

  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)

  • Chartered Executor Advisor (CEA)

There are definitely unique situations in many families and things can get complicated so please use this when you feel it’s applicable.

Next steps…

  • Contact us about helping you get your estate planning in order so you can gain peace of mind that your family is taken care of.

Continue Reading

Changes to the Taxation of Estates

Estate, trust and tax planners have long favoured testamentary trusts as vehicles to pass along assets to beneficiaries or heirs.   A testamentary trust is generally a trust or estate that is created the day a person dies.  Commonly, these trusts are established in a testator’s will.

Continue Reading

TFSA Designations may cause Estate Problems

The April 2015 federal budget made TFSAs more attractive by increasing the cumulative contribution limit to $41,000. But clients should know that financial institutions administer their customers’ TFSA accounts differently, and subtle differences could cost accountholders down the road.

Continue Reading

The Estate Bond

Growing your estate without undue market risk and taxes

Often we see older investors shift gears near retirement and beyond.  Many become risk adverse and move their assets into fixed income type investments.  Unfortunately this often results in the assets being exposed to higher rates of income tax and lower rates of return – never a good combination.

Continue Reading

Estate Planning for Blended Families

 Avoid Disinheriting Your Children

In today’s family it is not unusual for spouses to enter the marriage with children from previous relationships.   Parents work hard at getting these children to functionally blend together to create a happy family environment.  Often overlooked is what happens on the death of one of the parents. In most cases special consideration for estate planning is needed to avoid relationship loss and possibly legal action.

Continue Reading

Budget 2015 Highlights

On April 21, 2015, Finance Minister Joe Oliver tabled his first federal budget.  The provisions of the budget will be of particular interest to owners of small and medium sized businesses, seniors and families with children.  As well, those looking to make certain charitable donations will be encouraged by Oliver’s budget.

Below is a brief commentary on each of the key budget proposals.

Continue Reading

What to do after selling your business

The contract is signed. The cheque is cashed. Your business has been sold or you’ve been given a golden handshake. Now what?

It’s a question many former company owners have a tough time answering. Whether you’re looking to sail around the world, start a new enterprise, or spend time with your family, you must now figure out what to do with your money—and with your life.

Continue Reading

Is it Time for your Insurance Audit?

Has it been awhile since you last looked at your insurance portfolio? Are you a little sketchy in your recollection of all the coverage you have and why you have it? Are you uncertain as to whether or not your portfolio reflects your current situation? If this is the case, this might be the ideal time to have an audit of your insurance policies. Circumstances can change over time and making sure your protection keeps pace is a worthwhile exercise.

Continue Reading

Don’t Wait Too Long to Convert Your Term Insurance

If you require permanent life insurance coverage for family, estate planning, business, or tax planning purposes or you just wish to accumulate money in your life insurance program it may be time to look at a permanent, level cost solution.

Many of us purchase large amounts of low cost term insurance to cover our needs while we are raising our families or growing our businesses.  However, as the saying goes, “there is no free lunch”.  Eventually this low cost term insurance starts to become expensive and other options should be considered.  If you are unable to qualify for a new permanent insurance policy don’t worry, your safety net is the conversion option in your existing policy.

Continue Reading

The Insured Annuity: Personal or Charitable

At a time when equity markets are experiencing high volatility, the safe alternative appears to be low return, highly taxed GICs. Many seniors are now discovering how to increase their guaranteed yields by using the insured annuity strategy.

There are two components to the Insured Annuity strategy: a non-registered annuity (ie, not an RRSP or RRIF) and a life insurance policy.

Continue Reading