Few of us like to think about dying, but equally few of us could live with the thought that we have not made adequate provision for family and friends who survive us.
The legislation that governs passing on your estate to your chosen beneficiaries, requires that you plan well in advance. Since none of us knows when we will die, this means making the necessary provisions now.
The earlier you make the arrangements, the greater your chance of taking full advantage of the tax opportunities available and thereby maximising the amount that is passed on to your beneficiaries. Nothing is more demoralising than the thought that a substantial slice of the wealth you have worked hard to accumulate, will end up in the Governments hands.
Proper estate planning encompasses a number of areas, not just income taxes. For instance does your will reflect your current desires; do you wish to consider steps to minimize probate fees upon your death; do any provincial family relation laws apply; are there any foreign country consequences to be considered.
Although the documentation of your estate planning will likely require legal advice, I can advise you of the tax and other implications of transferring assets to spouses, children, charities or other beneficiaries or alternatively into trust. Maybe an estate freeze would be right for you.
An important first step in all estate planning, is to calculate the income taxes that will be payable upon death and I would be happy to assist.