Protecting your estate

Worried about losing too much of your estate to tax and probate fees? Richardson Wealth has been helping Canada’s most successful families and entrepreneurs leave lasting legacies for years. We are highly skilled at navigating the estate planning worries of particular concern to our clients, such as ensuring their estate stays intact as much as possible after death.

Reducing probate fees*

A one-time savings

There are two common ways to reduce or avoid probate fees:

1. Name a beneficiary on an insurance policy, pension plan, registered plan, or segregated fund
2. Make assets "Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship” with your spouse or common law partner.

With both of these strategies, you can ensure that the assets will pass outside the estate to the person you have named. In this way, you will save on probate and estate fees, in those provinces where they apply.
Naming a beneficiary for registered and pension plans will not alleviate the income tax payable by the estate. Also, it is important to understand that by using the above strategies to minimize probate fees, your estate may not be able to fund a testamentary trust created by your Will. Have a look at your last account statement(s) to verify your beneficiary designations and ensure it is consistent with your Will planning.
*Probate fees are not applicable in Québec.

Testamentary trusts

Ongoing tax savings and protection
There are certain situations in which it is more beneficial to pass wealth through your estate, despite the fees involved:
1. To offer ongoing tax savings to the beneficiary
2. To protect beneficiaries from undesirable influences

Trusts and tax elections are fairly sophisticated estate planning tools that allow you to help the next generation manage their inherited wealth in a responsible, and often tax-efficient, manner. It is another way of protecting your gift of wealth and ensuring it is used wisely.
The 2013 Federal Budget proposed changes to the taxation of testamentary trusts that may result in a limitation of future tax savings for beneficiaries.

Interested in learning more?

We’d be pleased to help you develop the right estate plan for your particular situation. Just give us a call to arrange a time that’s convenient for you. We'd also be pleased to provide you with a complimentary copy of our Estate Record Keeper—an easy solution for keeping all your financial and estate information in one place.