An Estate is the property that a person owns or has a legal interest in. The term is often used to describe the assets and liabilities left by a person after death.
Estate Planning involves the transfer of someone’s assets (e.g. property, money) when they die, as well as a variety of other personal matters.
Why is Estate Planning important?
- One element of Estate Planning is designating heirs for your assets. It ensures your assets end up with the beneficiaries you choose.
- A person’s will is a written document that sets out the person’s wishes about how his or her Estate should be taken care of and distributed after death. When a person dies with a will, the Estate is distributed according to the directions in the will. The will also protects families with young children. In order to ensure that your children are taken care of in a manner that you approve of, you will want to name their guardians in the event that both parents die before the children turn 18. Without such a will, the courts will have to step in.
- When a person dies without a valid will (intestate), Ontario’s law on intestate succession requires a specific distribution of the Estate. Click here for more info.
- Proper Estate Planning allows the most tax efficient transfer of the Estate assets to the chosen beneficiaries. Even with just a little bit of Estate Planning, couples can reduce a significant portion of their taxes, which can create huge savings.
Who can help me to design a tax efficient Estate?
Professionals with experience include Certified Financial Planners, Lawyers and Accountants with experience in Estate Planning. These professionals are trained to help you build a solid Estate Plan that meets all of your objectives. In many cases this group works together to achieve the best result for their clients.