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Estate Planning

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Cascading Life Insurance Strategy

A Lifetime Gift for your Grandchildren

If you are a grandparent wishing to provide an asset for your grandchildren without compromising your own financial security you may want to consider an estate planning application known as “Cascading Life Insurance” that will generate:

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