Steps to successful estate planning

Peace of mind in the pandemic year

Financial planning is all about preparing for the future. That covers a lot of ground, of course, from retirement planning to estate planning. Even in the best of times, it’s prudent to have a solid estate plan in place, so that your estate doesn’t end up in the hands of the government and the courts to divvy up your assets. That never ends happily. So with heightened awareness now about the health risks associated with the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus, it makes sense to make a plan to ensure peace of mind for you and your family. Take a look at what elements of estate planning you have in place, and what you might need to re-visit or set up from scratch.
So here are a few key items to consider when thinking about an estate plan.

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How to cut the cottage-sale tax bill

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The ABCs of the ACB

Thinking of selling your cottage, cabin, or recreational property? Unless it’s truly your principal residence, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will want its share of any capital gain you make on the sale. It calculates the capital gain as the proceeds of the sale minus the cost of selling and the adjusted cost base (ACB). Here’s where you can find ways to cut the tax take. But a note of caution: The CRA are fully aware of ACB games people play with cottage sales, so ensure that all the components of the ACB are documented and are all bona fide. READ MORE

What you need to know about TFSAs and estate planning

Sorting out “successor survivor” vs. “designated beneficiary”

When you open a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), you’ll likely be asked whether you wish to specify something called a “successor holder” or whether you want to designate a beneficiary. If you’re not sure what all this means, welcome to the club. Legal jargon can be daunting. So here’s a look at what all this means, and the implications for your estate planning. READ MORE

The 3 hidden financial traps of cottage ownership

It’s not all piney woods and gorgeous sunsets

The cabin in the woods or cottage by the lake can make a great retreat from the big smoke. But with vacation properties in prime areas pushing a million bucks or more, buying one has become a major financial planning challenge. And if you already have a cottage in the family, there may be looming ownership, tax, and estate-planning problems if you’re thinking of selling or transferring to a new generation. Here are the three top issues to be aware of whether you already own a vacation property or you’re contemplating buying one. READ MORE

How to guarantee retirement income

Insured annuity strategy guarantees an estate too

One of the big questions facing new retirees is how to protect your income during retirement while leaving something to children or grandchildren in your will. Straight annuities can provide a guaranteed stream of income, but once the annuity is paid out, there won’t be much left for beneficiaries. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. READ MORE