This slide from my Estate Planning seminar illustrates two options to settling your Estate:
- Through your Will which can be costly, time consuming and subject to litigation.
- Through strategies that provide a quick, simple and direct settlement to your Beneficiaries.
Settling all of your estate through your Will can be a slow and expensive process. All assets processed through your Will are subject to probate and the related costs and complications. Individuals such as Executors and perhaps other professional advisors will be involved.
Furthermore your Will is reviewed by all your beneficiaries and your estate could come under attack through the Wills Variation Act in which case it can become a public document.
Listed on the right side of the slide are simple strategies that will provide Direct Settlement of funds to your beneficiaries. In some cases, as outlined below, these changes will provide you with tax and wealth enhancement opportunities during your lifetime.
Life Insurance and Policy Cash Values – Can be set up to insure you, your children or grandchildren to provide enhancement of your legacy and significant tax and financial benefits during your lifetime.
Segregated Funds – Provide you with a tax preferred and superior growth investment while protecting your beneficiaries with a death benefit guarantee on your invested capital. Your segregated funds settle directly to your beneficiaries when you die.
Joint Ownership – Can be dangerous as you would be exposing your financial assets to the affairs of your Joint Owner(s). Usually not recommended especially when there are alternatives such as Segregated Funds.
Trusts – Effective in getting assets out of the probate process, but are expensive to set up and maintain. There are often less complicated alternatives that can enhance your wealth and legacy.
RSP/RIF/TFSA – Can be set up to settle directly to Beneficiaries but make sure you have done your homework in terms of the taxation effect of RSP’s and RIF’s. Our Smart Estate Strategies can minimize the tax bite of these vehicles.
You can Download this information on a PDF file here:
(It is a 603 kb .PDF file)