probate fees

Keep Probate Fees in Perspective

In Canada, we don’t have a “death tax,” where significant taxes must be paid on the transfer of wealth at death. Consider that in some countries like the U.S. or Japan, estate tax can reach rates of up to 40 and 55 percent respectively!1 Yet, over the years, probate fees have become a de facto estate tax.

Estimated Probate Fees on a $1M Estate Value by Province2

Probate is the process by which a court confirms the validity of the will […]

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Estate planning with TFSA

What Happens to a TFSA When you Die?

Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) are a great investment option with tax free investment growth and tax free withdrawals. Upon death, what happens to your TFSA depends on who the beneficiary is, or if you have named a successor holder.
TFSA Successor Holder or Beneficiary
Let’s look at the difference in tax consequences and probate, assuming the following designations:
Successor Holder – Spouse
Only your spouse can be designated as the successor holder of your Tax-Free Savings Account. The successor holder is designated instead […]

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Choosing a Beneficiary

Do You Need to Revisit Beneficiary Designations?

Naming a beneficiary is a big decision that may sometimes be overlooked. At some point in your life, you may buy a life insurance policy or start a new job with a retirement plan and receive a form that includes a section for the names of your beneficiaries. Many people, unprepared, leave it blank or complete the section without much thought. If years have gone by since completing account paperwork, it may be time for a review. Here are […]

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Have you been Diagnosed with Underliving?

Underliving is a common condition mostly found among retired Canadians, and it is caused by the individual’s inability to give permission to spend their own money. This inability is due to lack of planning—not knowing what you have—and what you can spend.
This lack of planning pushes people toward the default behaviour of hoarding money, as they are unsure of how long it will last. It is natural to hoard cash when you have no plan, and one should not […]

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It can be Taxing to be a Snowbird

With the days growing longer and nights warmer, it may be easy to forget the polar vortex that froze many parts of Canada this winter. For some, the cold prompted an escape to warmer climates down south. If you are a “snowbird” — spending considerable amounts of time in the U.S. — you need to be aware of U.S. income tax implications.
Even if you have no U.S. tax to pay, you may be subject to various U.S. tax filing […]

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The Role of the Executor: A Large One

Have you been named as an executor of someone’s estate? If so, you have been entrusted with a very important role. It is often a large responsibility, so here are some things to keep in mind:
It is time consuming.
Settling an estate generally takes about 18 months on average, but may extend to several years depending on complexity. Duties can include arranging the funeral, finding, itemizing or even managing estate assets, applying for probate (where applicable), notifying financial institutions of […]

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Financial Considerations: Losing a Spouse

A spouse’s death can be one of life’s most devastating events. Complicating matters, at a time when a surviving spouse may feel as though they are unable to deal with life’s routines, many new tasks will arise. Seeking the support of others may be important, whether it be family members, trusted friends or even professionals.
Here are some financial steps that will need to be taken during this difficult time:
Take Care of Immediate Action Items

Make funeral arrangements or carry out […]

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Will Power

It’s Make a Will Week. How exciting huh? As if tax season wasn’t enough fun.
It remains remarkable to me that so many people have not bothered to make a will, or have not updated theirs to reflect changes in their situation. In our role as Financial Advisors, we have a duty to motivate our clients to completing this, obviously, important task. We are to be a catalyst in this. To that end, we have many suggestions, we are willing […]

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estate planning parksville

Spring Clean your Estate Plan

As human beings one of our favourite subjects to talk about is estate planning, said no one ever. We tend to avoid this subject like the plague, when we intuitively know that the chances of us dying is approximately 100%.
Estate planning is actually not that complicated and when an effective plan is put in place, one feels a tremendous sense of relief! So what are the components of a well-structured estate plan?
Correct asset structure
A couple should always make sure […]

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