1. Comprehensive Personal/Family Questionnaire
A full investigation and disclosure of the client's personal, spousal, business, investment and family circumstances are accomplished through a detailed questionnaire created with all of the estate planning tools in mind.
Multiple Wills (“primary” and “secondary” wills) are effective and necessary in many circumstances. Probate fee reduction is available in Ontario for corporate shares, personal property, unsecured loans etc.
A Will for foreign property may be necessary and beneficial. Note - Wills are only effective for assets within the jurisdiction.
3. Powers of Attorney
For property (all financial matters) can be one document however multiple documents is advisable to provide for alternate attorneys.
Personal/health care power of attorney
Foreign jurisdiction issues are very important for powers of attorney. Both property and personal care powers of the foreign jurisdiction are usually necessary if client has property or spends considerable time in another jurisdiction e.g. property and personal care powers of attorney done in Ontario may not be legally recognized in Florida.
Both testamentary and inter vivos trusts
Second spouse benefits
Spouse trust - tax minimization
Family trusts - income splitting
Insurance trusts - life insurance proceeds to benefit minors or special needs
Discretionary trusts - estate freezes, business transfers, asset protection
Self-interest trusts (Alter Ego or Joint Partner)
5. Re-structure Corporate and/or Real Estate holdings
Consider options with a view to tax minimization, succession, efficiency and/or simplification and expense reduction.
Planning for Capital gains exemption on sale of shares
Review real estate holdings with a view to tax minimization and exit strategies or out-right sales
6. Special Agreements
Marriage or Co-habitation contracts
Shared Ownership or Shared Benefit Insurance agreements
A review of insurable assets, potential liabilities and adequacy of existing insurance
Where lacking, expert insurance advice
Life (term, permanent, whole life/participating, universal)
Business contingency protection
Funding buy-sell agreements
Create a legacy
Cover capital gains taxes
Fund charitable gifts
Disability, critical illness, long term care
8. Investment Counselling
Consideration of various professional avenues to review financial circumstances with a view to maximizing after-tax income and retirement planning.
Legal expertise as needed
Accountant - tax expertise
Financial advisors - Investment brokers, CFP and others
Chartered Business valuators - CBV
Canadian Association for Family Enterprise (CAFE)