One significant component of wealth management is transferring your property at the time of death.
The objective of will and estate planning is to ensure that your property transfer is as straightforward as possible and maximizes the tax benefits. In practice, among others, planning serves to determine your personal and financial objectives to:
- Protect your heirs’ financial interests;
- Minimize taxes, administrative costs and delays;
- Ensure the smooth settlement of your affairs.
A will is undeniably the best way to set out your objectives and intentions.
Reduce your estate’s tax burden
The terms and clauses in this document will determine the parameters of your plan to transfer your property by setting out how it will be distributed to your heirs. You can, therefore, ensure that the people you choose are financially protected while maintaining overall wealth management.
By judiciously using the provisions in tax legislation, you can also reduce your estate’s and heirs’ tax burden. Depending on the type of property you own (real estate, private company shares, partnership units, registered plans [RRSP, RRIF and TFSA], investment portfolio, etc.) and what your will states, you can define strategies to meet your needs while maximizing the tax considerations.
Questions to guide your estate planning
The following questions could help guide your estate planning thought process:
- Do you have a will? If so, is it up-to-date?
- Have you listed all of your assets and liabilities (current and potential)? If so, are the lists recent?
- Have you determined who should inherit what? If so, do you want to make changes?
- Do some of your heirs have special needs?
- Will your estate have sufficient cash to cover the taxes payable at the time of your death and any cash legacies you may wish to make?
A careful analysis of your financial situation and defining an estate plan that reflects your wishes will avoid conflicts and confusion in settling your estate. Our will and estate planning experts can support you in the process to ensure that your planning is compliant and to provide you with peace of mind.