What is Estate Planning?
The ultimate goal of Estate Planning is to provide for the orderly transfer of your assets in the event of your death or incapacity - with the smallest emotional, time and financial cost to you and your family.
Without careful planning, your property may pass to unintended beneficiaries. Or it may be reduced in value by unexpected taxes and costs, crippling litigation, and unnecessary delays. These potential problems often cause bitterness and financial bickering after the death of a parent.
In the larger estate, these risks are much more common - and far more devastating.
Estate Planning involves questions like: Who should own which property - and how? Should it be owned jointly, separately, in a trust, in a corporation? Are new legal agreements or life insurance needed? Should an estate freeze be done - or undone? Can your assets can be protected from future marital breakdowns (yours, or your heirs') - or from spendthrift family members? Should some assets be given to the next generation (or to a charity) now - or retained in their present form?
A properly structured Estate Plan relieves you of the Stress of Uncertainty.
Estate Planning should focus on maximizing your Net After Tax Returns - both while living - and in the settlement of your Estate. It is very important that you rationalize and simplify the Estate Settlement process. This greatly enhances not only the "Net Value" of your estate - but more importantly The "Net Happiness" of your family. The result is that Your Assets Go To Whom You Intended - with less going to litigation lawyers, Canada Revenue, Probate, or the IRS.