estate planning

Using a Trust to Avoid Probate Fees

When Simon's father passed away two years ago, he didn't think much about how his estate would be handled. His mother had died five years before, and his dad's will was clear about how his assets would be divided. Then came probate, a process to confirm the validity of his will. Not only did unexpected fees come out of his dad's estate, it took almost a year to settle and distribute it.

Helping Adult Children Buy A Home

With the average price of a home in Canada 1 costing roughly $530,000 in 2020 , it's getting harder for first-time buyers to enter the market. This is likely why a growing number of parents are stepping up to help their adult children purchase a home. While it's admirable to offer this level of support in an increasingly expensive world, it's also a complex decision that both parents and their adult children should ponder carefully.

Leaving a Legacy

Recently retired Ross and Penny have an estate planning challenge. They've accumulated a comfortable net worth, with a good portion of it in liquid investments. They plan to leave everything to their three adult children, but they also want to help them financially right now. The problem is that all of their children have a different relationship with money than Ross and Penny. In a nutshell, the parents are savers and the children spenders. If they give large sums of money, Ross and Penny would want their children to use the cash to improve their financial lives. Would they do that?

How NOT to Plan your Estate

Your death will create problems. There will be three types - emotional, legal and financial. You can do certain things now, while you're alive, to reduce or increase these problems and make your heirs either love you or hate you.

EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS

You can increase the emotional upset after your death by leaving your affairs in a mess. Hide your will, or better still, don't make one. Have a number of secret bank accounts and investments.

Your Legacy Plan and Charitable Giving

Recently, a client wanted to leave all of their money to two charities through their Will. They wanted to leave a legacy to a couple of charities that were close to them and they didn't have any close family members.

Here is her situation: Age 80, $550,000 in savings (75% non-registered and TFSA), with income of $70,000 annually from pensions and RIFS while living in an upscale retirement residence. She was also spending an additional $20,000 a year from savings to support her lifestyle.

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