Who will execute this distribution after my death?

Wills, Trusts & Agreements

One of the most fundamental tools of estate planning is the will.  It is recommended that a will should be revised and updated every few years, or upon any life changing event.  Dying intestate (without a will) may have many legal, practical and tax related consequences, common issues ignored by many Canadians. 

Equally as important, electing a Power of Attorney (POA), both for health and for property, is crucial as this represents an individual granted the power to make decisions on financial, legal and health matters if one should become incapacitated. 

Establishing a trust for the benefit of family members and other loved ones is a useful way to ensure assets and other items pass to the people originally intended.  Although set up costs are involved, there is a level of control maintained even beyond living years for those who use this tool.  Consult your lawyer to obtain information on this matter.
 

Partnership agreements/buy-sell agreements establish the rights and responsibilities of the partners, and assess factors that may arise in the unfortunate event of death or disability of a partner or partners.  Ensuring fair price is paid for ownership of a company is important for all partners involved in the business.  Insurance can provide the funding should an unfortunate event occur.  All items above should involve the assistance in part, or in full, of a lawyer.  

Succession Planning

AFTER YOU EXIT, WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTINUITY OF YOUR BUSINESS?

There may be a false impression that family transfers are simple in comparison to arm’s length transfers, when in fact they can get quite complicated.  Family operated corporations often find problems in transferring the business at the right time, to the appropriate individuals, in a tax efficient manner.  Business continuity becomes an important issue at the decisive point in time of who will carry on the legacy.  Current business owners want to know the future direction of the company, whether or not they have remaining involvement.

Once the successors are determined, owners often find themselves overcoming issues of taxation at the time of transfer.  A sale of a company (whether it be a sole proprietor, partnership or private corporation) is dealt with differently, especially when a company is being transferred amongst family members.

Life insurance and disability insurance provide the appropriate funding for those unplanned events that often force owners/shareholders of companies to perform one of two alternatives; selling or winding up.  To avoid these alternatives, creating the necessary funding with the acquisition of insurance will avoid dealing with such consequences.  The use of a buy/sell agreement often is appropriate if continuity of the business and offered as protection for all parties involved.

Alternatively, salary continuation plans or wage loss replacement plans, for owners and employees are considered for short-term and long-term needs.  Ultimately, these plans are designed to allow salary continuation in the event of a disability or illness, for the owners, shareholders and key employees of the company.

Ownership & Buy/Sell Agreements

Ensure the business is sold for the appropriate amount and sold to the intended individuals.  There are several ways to structure a buy/sell agreement, a very effective way of assuring the direction of the business if an unexpected event were to occur with an owner/partner.  Buy/sell agreement is structured and implemented by a lawyer.

Key Person Insurance

What would happen to your business if your key employee or manager/operator encountered an unexpected event?  There are ways to cover those individuals who are the driving factor behind your business.  For situations of both death and disability, there is a potential of being protected in either situation.  The business may be impacted largely with the loss of key persons; covering these key persons may be influential to the continuity of the business.  

 

Estate Planning

WHO WILL PROTECT YOUR FAMILY & MAINTAIN YOUR ASSETS?

Essentially, we attempt to protect our family through use of tools that offer security in order to reduce the risk of loss and minimize harmful threats.  We intend to protect our loved ones, regardless of cost and expense.  The way to increase protection for the future is to be proactive and start your planning immediately.  Risk management is just one safeguard to securing the well-being of your family and the legacy you have worked hard to build.

Similar to security of a house, we protect our assets from threats by minimizing the risk…

Steps are taken in order to protect valued items and our legacy for the next generations.  For many of us, protection is priceless for that which we have achieved in our lives.  In those valuable efforts to acquire assets we should concern ourselves with protecting and ensuring they are passed down to those individuals we care about during our lives, and want to continue to distribute assets beyond our years of life.

What is meant by "Intestate"?

The meaning of intestate is dying without an active will in place.  The importance of an active will is great, as there is taxation as well as legal issues that may be unfavourable once the estate has been created.

Facing the tragedy of death at any age is hard enough, however, dying intestate could be disastrous, especially for those loved ones that are supposedly the beneficiaries.

Estate Preservation

Rather than liquidating assets to pay debts, obtain the proper coverage to preserve the estate.  Preserving valuable family assets and maintaining your legacy is very important.  Simply implementing a few of the tools to preserve & protect assets in the estate could have a tremendous impact on simplifying processes for the future. 

Who needs estate planning?

Virtually every person is in need of estate planning who is currently generating an income and/or who owns property.

 

In the tragic event of my death, how is my family to be cared for afterwards?

How is my business to be protected?

How should my assets be distributed to my beneficiaries?

Who will execute this distribution after my death?  

 

Efficiently Managing The Estate

The Keystones of Estate Planning:

The estate planning process can often be a very detailed, time-consuming, and exhausting process.  Despite the extensive process, there are some crucial points to consider, if there is any doubt of importance in planning ahead for these issues:

Establish the Estate:

 

Protect the Estate:

First, the estate is created to determine certain aspects like the heirs of the estate.  This should be resolved early enough to ensure the plan process is effective moving forward.  Careful selection of the individual’s beneficiaries, in order to guarantee the estate is turning over to the desired parties.   The next is estate conservation, preservation of capital and, in effect, minimizing taxation at death.  Individuals should always consider retirement and disability: planning the estate owner’s future, while is living, is just as important as looking after family members after death

Avoid Liquidating:

 

Equity and Equality:

Lack of liquidity is a major issue for most estate plans.  Having many assets is great; however, not having enough cash on hand is potentially a problem.

 

 

Consideration of death and equity, as there are difficult decisions to overcome and many questions with most that plan the estate ahead of time.  Questions may involve who the estate will go to upon death, and if the family is well taken care of financially.  Equitable denominations might be a concern.  Proper execution of the estate is significant.