Estate Planning

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You have worked hard to accumulate your wealth.  Let our experienced Wealth Consultants work with you and your legal advisors to establish an estate plan.  A properly constructed estate plan will help ensure you leave your assets to the intended recipients in a cost effective manner.


Estate Planning & Strategic Wealth Transfer

Planning for the future and ensuring that your wishes will be carried out doesn't have to keep you up at night. Work with us for your estate planning needs to be sure your assets are invested appropriately, that you have provided for your heirs, and that your wealth will be transferred in a seamless, tax-efficient manner.

There are numerous strategies that can benefit you and your family, including:

Leave a valid will: if you die without a valid will, your estate gets settled according to the laws of your province, rather than according to your personal wishes. This can be a more complicated process, with higher legal fees and the potential for costly disputes.

Name beneficiaries for insurance and registered plans: when you buy life insurance or open an RRSP or other registered plan account you can name a beneficiary to receive the money when you die. This means the money bypasses the estate process and is paid directly to that person; because it doesn’t form part of your estate, the money is not subject to probate fees and there are no delays in your beneficiaries receiving the money.

Jointly own property: Holding assets – such as a home or cottage – with another person is another strategy for reducing probate fees. Joint assets pass automatically to the surviving joint owner – and are generally not considered part of your estate and subject to probate fees.

We work with individuals, families, and business owners to translate their success into a meaningful and lasting legacy. We understand the issues you face, and we can help you address them in a thorough and disciplined way.

Our estate planning strategies help you:

  • Pass your legacy on to your heirs
  • Grow your assets
  • Minimize inheritance taxes, include estate taxes and gift taxes
  • Protect your assets from creditors

Through our collaborative approach to estate planning, we are happy to work with your estate planning attorney and other advisors to provide the most comprehensive and seamless service.


Strategies to Minimize Taxes

Minimizing your family’s tax obligations is a key part of the overall wealth planning process.

There are several tax-minimization strategies that can benefit you and your family, including:

Family income splitting: income splitting works by transferring the tax liability from higher-income to lower-income family members, who are taxed at a lower rate. There are several ways to do this, including contributing to spousal RRSPs, creating formal spousal loan arrangements or establishing family trusts.

Deferring Income: by having some of  your income pushed to a later date you can maximize potential tax credits you may be eligible for later on in life.

Investing through tax-exempt insurance: in addition to providing your family with financial security, life insurance policies can also help reduce your investment taxes. You can deposit additional amounts into a life insurance policy for investment purposes, and the investment income accumulates on a tax-free basis, similar to an RRSP.

Tax-efficient asset allocation: maximizing tax-efficient investments and investment plans, including your RRSP, RRIF and TFSA can help reduce taxes paid through the estate.

Buy permanent life insurance: life insurance proceeds can be paid to your estate to cover estate costs or left directly to a beneficiary to provide additional amounts to a particular person. The proceeds are always paid tax-free.Meet with an Avanti Wealth Advisor today and let them help you build and protect your wealth in a tax-efficient manner.


Using Trusts to Protect Assets

A Trust is a special way of holding property which, if structured properly, can provide protection for your wealth and can also be used to reduce taxes.

Trusts can be arranged in many ways and can specify exactly how and when the assets pass to the beneficiaries.

Speak with an Avanti advisor today; let us help you determine if a trust is the right choice for you and your family.


*Mutual funds, other securities and securities related financial planning services are offered through Credential Securities, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc.  Credential Securities is a registered mark owned by Aviso Wealth Inc.  Mutual funds and securities related financial planning services are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc.

Leaving a Legacy

Legacy Planning Goes Beyond Estate Planning

While estate planning deals with distributing your assets according to your wishes with an eye to minimizing taxes, legacy planning involves another important element – your family. It's important to ensure everyone is on board with the philosophy behind your philanthropy.

Plans for a legacy should be used as an opportunity to communicate with your family, share your values and clearly explain how your wealth will be divided and why. This allows them to understand your values and desires, accept them and make suggestions themselves. Working together, your family may be able to help shape the future of your legacy and contribute in a meaningful way.

Your financial advisor will be a good source of information in formulating your legacy plan. They have a network of legal professionals and community connections that you can consult and engage in the process.

Options for Leaving a Legacy

Charitable bequest in your will.  This is a straightforward way to make a gift and ensure it is distributed according to your wishes. Included in the value of your estate, it may increase probate and executor fees. Real estate charitable gift. You can leave property, buildings, land or a home to charity in your will or while you're living. Your estate will receive a tax receipt which can be used to offset final taxes.

Life insurance beneficiary. By naming a charitable organization as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy, your estate is not taxed on life insurance proceeds – although premiums can be deductible for the donor. Directly designated RRSPs or RRIFs. Naming a charitable organization as a beneficiary of your retirement plan transfers the proceeds directly to the charity, bypassing probate. As well, your estate will receive a charitable tax receipt, which will help counterbalance any tax liabilities.

Charitable remainder trusts. Charities can be named as a Capital Beneficiaries secondary after you and/or your spouse the Income Beneficiaries. This allows you and/or your spouse to receive income from the trust during your lifetime and the charity to receive the remainder after your death. Annuity agreement. This is an arrangement you make with the charity where you give them cash or property in exchange for a guaranteed lifetime income (or a pre-defined period of time). Upon your death, they receive the remainder of your original contribution.

Residual interest. This option enables you to leave the property you live in or other property you own, such as an art collection, to a named charity. You can continue to enjoy the property while you live and receive a tax receipt for the value of the property at the time the gift was made. The charity receives the deed for the property on your death.
 

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