1. Income tax and other laws are constantly changing. In addition, personal circumstances may change due to events such as a death, a divorce or new marriage. Is your will up to date to reflect any change in your affairs?
2. Do you have a recent list of your assets, their location and, if possible, their market value and income tax cost base?
3. In order to deal with constantly changing tax rules, does your will allow your executors to administer your estate in a manner that will minimize taxes payable by your estate and beneficiaries?
4. On your death, all your capital property is deemed to be disposed of at fair market value, except for property transferred to a spouse, common-law partner or spousal trust. Does your will provide that property with an inherent taxable gain is transferred to a spouse, etc. in order to avoid capital gains taxes?
5.If your spouse is the beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF, it can be transferred to him or her on a tax deferred basis on your death. Is your spouse named as the specific beneficiary of your RRSP or RRIF?
6. Did you know that it is possible to provide for so-called testamentary trusts in your will that will allow for some control over your assets - even after your death?
7. Will your estate include sufficient cash or other liquid assets to pay any income taxes arising on death? Or will it be necessary to dispose of a significant asset to raise cash?
8. If your family business is the major asset of your estate, equalizing the amount of inheritance between several children can be difficult. Does your estate plan adequately provide for family members whom you would prefer not to be involved in the business?
If you would like to discuss any of the above in further detail, please give me a call.