Your Will and COVID19

Your Will and COVID19

 

COVID19 has moved 'get a will' from the bottom of our to-do list to the top. How to do that legally and while staying at home? Check out this article for guidelines...and a reminder that a handwritten will is good for now, not a replacement for a full document drawn up by an experienced lawyer. One tip the article left out- please let someone know where your will is stored. Contact me if you have questions.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Getting and Giving

Getting and Giving

 

On this Thanksgiving weekend, many of us will have an opportunity to spend time with family and friends.  This holiday can be a time to reflect on what we are thankful for, or what we have received.  Christmas is only ** days away.  Pre-Christmas can be a season of charitable solicitations, a time when many focus on giving to family, friends and charities.

Recent Statscan statistics reveal that 84% of Canadians claimed a charitable tax deduction, and 44% of Canadians volunteer their time.  Like other areas of your life, taking the time to develop your giving plan can have significant positive impact for you and those that you help.

A meaningful giving plan starts with a discussion about what issues you care about and why you want to support them.  What does community mean to you?  What are your views on international versus local ventures?  Answers to these initial questions will drive the rest of the dialogue about where and how to have an impact on issues that matter most to you.  A deep discussion about your values will connect your giving to the rest of your plan; income, spending, investments and estate planning will all start to reflect your values about who and how you want to be in your community.

To have a conversation that starts with your interests and goals, ending with an executable plan, instead of starting and ending with tax strategies, contact Sara at 519-569-7526 or sara@wddevelopment.ca

 

Places to Go to Stretch Your Thinking:

 

Questions and Framework to Evaluate Your Giving

 

Volunteering and Charitable Giving in Canada

 

An Answer to Some Headlines Generated by the Above StatsCan report

 

A Journey from Charity and Donors to an Investment Fund

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Planning for Special Needs

Planning for Special Needs

 

Creating and maintaining a family always comes with unexpected highs and lows.  The birth of a child is a joyous event, regardless of the challenges. When a child is born with special needs—whether developmental or medical—parents can face unique challenges that can initially feel overwhelming.

When first learning their child has special needs, parents face a steep learning curve, says Kathy Netten, a social worker with the complex care program at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) in Toronto. Parents need to learn medical terms, how to navigate the healthcare system and how to advocate effectively. Because many conditions are discovered in infancy, they are often learning how to be parents for the first time. And, they may also be grieving.

Sick Kids has over 50 social workers like Ms. Netten who provide counselling, therapy and support services for families with special needs children. “We are available to help parents find resources and work effectively with care teams, to problem solve when there are challenges, and for the very difficult decision-making,” she says.

From her experience, Ms. Netten says parents will often push themselves to physical and mental exhaustion to benefit their child. “The key is to find a balance between hope and despair, even under the most difficult of circumstances. Hope will allow parents to take care of their own emotional, psychological and spiritual needs so they can care for the developmental and medical needs of their child.”

Parents must also be mindful that financial questions are not forgotten at this most critical time, only to become an additional burden later on. While it can be difficult to think about long-term financial concerns, a firm financial foundation will not only protect your family, it will also free you to focus on the physical and emotional needs that only you can meet.

For parents of special needs children, this can be even more important. A typical family will see income increase over time. However, for families with special needs children—especially those that have the most complex needs—literature shows that income actually decreases. Medication and equipment costs, time taken from work, and lack of knowledge of available assistance programs are all contributors.

A comprehensive financial plan for families in this situation will:

  • Clarify your current financial position and options
  • Identify potential future costs and/or obstacles
  • Review available government programs and benefits
  • Develop your estate plan to protect all of your beneficiaries

To review your situation and explore how a personalized plan would benefit your family, please contact Sara at 519-569-7526 or sara@wddevelopment.ca.

 

Originally published by Financial Planning Standards Council. Adapted with permission.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Building Blocks-Wealth Transfer

Last week’s blog discussed the difference in outcome when you have a will versus the intestate rules being applied to your estate.  Taking our example on step further, what happens when Mrs passes away? 

Based on our initial example, this family had saved and invested well.  Mrs’ career allowed her to maintain the family’s lifestyle without using investments.  Investment Corporation is also holding 3 in-force life insurance policies that will pay to the corporation once Mrs passes away.

Assuming Mrs lives to her average life expectancy of 83, the estate will be worth approximately $14 million.  If she passes sooner, at age 55, the children will inherit approximately $2,500,000 each when they are in their early 20’s.

How do you increase the likelihood that your estate will benefit your family/beneficiaries and decrease the potential negative impact of what may be sudden wealth for someone unprepared?

  • Talk to your family about money basics.  If you don’t feel confident about this, that’s okay; you can learn together.  Monopoly has many money truths.  If you over-spend, you will run out of money and have to negotiate with other people or surrender (and that doesn’t feel good).  Expenses come out of the blue.  Properties need maintenance.
  • Look at your own values and how you are earning/spending your money- do they match?  Once you have clarity for yourself, think about how you will share this with your children.  There is significant gain in these conversations for all of you. 
  • Follow and expand on what catches your family’s interest.  If your kids are showing an interest in investing, see how much information you can find together.  Find sites that will let you build a hypothetical portfolio and track it’s behaviour over time.
  • If you have advisors that you trust, be explicit with your family about that.  The younger children are, the more all-knowing you seem.  Even adult children may not realize that a very successful parent relies on an advisor for help that is out of their area of expertise.

The sooner you have these conversations, the more time you have to repeat the information.  Learning happens over time, with repetition.  It’s not too late to start talking as a family about your values and how to handle money and wealth so that it meets your goals instead of acting as a hindrance.

 

Disclaimer- the above example is a hypothetical situation for illustration purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice.   Intestate rules vary from province to province.  For legal advice specific to your situation, drafting and execution of your wills, please consult your lawyer.

 

To discuss your current situation and estate goals, please contact  admin@wddevelopment.ca to book an appointment.

 

Check in later in June for blogs on how to talk your kids about money and finances.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

The Importance of having a Will

Our Scenario family lives in Ontario.  Mr owns Operating Company, which generates approximately $500,000 in revenue per year.  He takes $152,000 in salary.  Mrs is a professional, earning $180,000 per year in salary.  Total family expenses are $120,000 per year.

This seems like a good news story, financially.  Careers are stable, living expenses are below incomes, and savings rate is high.  Mr and Mrs don’t have wills or power of attorney.  They’ve had initial conversations with their investment advisor and with a lawyer.  They got stalled in a few questions from the lawyer, and haven’t been back to see her.

In Canada, each province has rules for asset division and estate settlement if someone dies without a will.  This is known as “intestate”.  We may want our surviving spouse to inherit our assets and continue to parent the children with the values we had before our death; without a will, this isn’t what will happen.

Mr dies suddenly without a will.

After the settlement process, using the intestate laws in Ontario.

  •           Mrs inherits $1.37M.
  •           Son has a trust fund of $480,000, to be paid out to him fully by age 18.
  •           Daughter has a trust fund of $480,000, to be paid out to her fully by age 18.
  •           $542,000 has been paid to CRA through Mr’s final tax returns.
  •           Operating Co. has no voting shareholder, and no instructions.
  •           Investment Co. has lost a voting shareholder, has no instructions on Mr’s shares, and is still holding investments, life insurance proceeds and 3 in-force life insurance policies.

Mr dies suddenly, after completing wills leaving his assets to Mrs.

  •           Mrs controls all the assets
  •           $2,300 has been paid to CRA through Mr’s final tax returns.

This scenario is not about financial devastation after the loss of an income-earning spouse. Financially, the surviving parent is stable, and can maintain the family’s lifestyle after the loss.  This scenario is about loss of financial control, as the children will have access to a significant amount of money in their own names.

The loss of financial control is preventable, through executing a will that reflects your values in a legally sound way.

 

Disclaimer- the above example is a hypothetical situation for illustration purposes only and is not to be considered legal advice.   Intestate rules vary from province to province.  For legal advice specific to your situation, drafting and execution of your wills, please consult your lawyer.

Intestate in Ontario

How an Estate may be administered if a minor child has a claim under an Intestate Estate

 

To discuss your current situation and estate goals, please contact  admin@wddevelopment.ca to book an appointment

 

 

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Contributors

Sara McCullough
50
September 28, 2020
show Sara's posts
Fraser Lang
1
May 10, 2017
show Fraser's posts

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Everything financial planning change Budgeting Insurance commuting executive severance Fee-Only Fee-Based wills estate planning RESP divorce family law certified divorce financial analyst CDFA