Learn estate planning basics
Make a will
Consider fees and taxes
Plan for incapacity
You don’t have to do any of this on your own. Let one of our knowledgeable advisors help.
Work with an advisor
Estate planning involves making important decisions about your assets, including your property, investments, and personal possessions, and outlining how they will be distributed. It’s important to start the process early and to regularly update your estate plan so it stays current and always reflects your wishes and needs.
Do you even have an estate? It sounds fancy, but pretty much everyone has one. Your estate includes everything you own, from property and savings to digital assets. Your estate plan explains how those assets will be distributed, who will manage your affairs, and how your dependants will be provided for after you pass away.
A will is a legal document that is the foundation of your estate plan. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to provincial intestacy laws, which may not reflect your wishes. Your will sets out your instructions and names an executor who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and managing your estate.
There’s no inheritance tax in Canada, but many provinces including BC charge a probate fee that is a percentage of your estate’s total value. Also, capital gains on investments and the entire value of registered accounts like RRSPs/RRIFs may be taxed when they go to the next generation. See if you can use some of the strategies available to reduce probate fees and taxes due on death.
In addition to planning for your death, it's important to consider what would happen if you were incapacitated due to illness or injury. You can designate a power of attorney to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf, as well as a healthcare directive to specify your wishes for medical treatment.
Estate planning can get very complex, so it’s important to seek professional help from a lawyer and your advisor. They can help you navigate the legal and tax implications of your estate plan. Work with them to ensure all elements are legally valid and kept up to date.
Whether you’ve been building your investment portfolio for years, or you’re just getting started, there’s more to a wealth plan than putting money away for retirement. We’re here to help.