Estate Planning & Insurance

Estate Planning & Insurance

Estate Planning & Insurance

“When planning for a year, plant corn. When planning for a decade, plant trees. When planning for life, train and educate people.”

~ Chinese Proverbs

Estate Planning

People spend a lifetime accumulating assets and building an estate with the intention of passing it on to their heirs or charitable beneficiaries. Without proper planning, a person’s death can create significant hardships on the people for which the estate was created.

For an estate to be passed on to the heirs, there could be settlement costs, such as probate fees and death taxes.   In some cases, where the death taxes are substantial, assets may have to be liquidated in order to pay them. Also, the actual transfer of assets could be delayed by probate proceedings that are bogged down if there are any contestable assets.

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A sound estate plan can eliminate many of these problems that arise during the settlement of an estate and help you accomplish the following:

Ensure that your wishes are honored when you are unable to manage your own affairs.
Communicate your wishes and expectations precisely to your family and heirs
Provide for your family’s financial security
Provide capital to meet immediate liquidity needs for settlement costs
Facilitate the timely distribution of assets by avoiding probate proceedings
Maximize the estate for transfer by minimizing  taxes and expenses 
Ensure that all beneficiaries are named in accordance with the most recent will or Avoid publicity by keeping the proceedings out of the public record.
Conserve the estate so later generations can benefit.
Leave a charitable legacy with a gift of assets or a trust.

Basic Estate Planning Arrangements

One of the primary objectives of an estate plan is to ensure that your assets are transferred in accordance with your wishes.  A qualified attorney can help you determine which estate planning arrangement will work best for you.

Will

A will is a legal document drafted in accordance with state laws wherein the estate beneficiaries are named. A will is subject to probate which means that all assets are distributed under the supervision of the court. An executor is named in the will and is responsible for ensuring that the provisions of the will are followed.  Absent a will, the state becomes the executor of the estate and will name guardians and beneficiaries according to its laws.

Trust

A trust is a form of ownership that is set up by the estate owner to receive and hold title of the assets prior to their distribution to the heirs.  A trustee is designated to manage the trust in accordance with its provisions.  There are several different kinds of trusts, each designed to serve a specific purpose such as to avoid probate, minimize estate taxes, or manage the assets of the estate.

Titling Assets

There are several ways to title assets that will result in different methods of asset transfer.  A common form of asset title is Joint Tenancy which allows the asset to transfer, automatically and without probate, to the person named jointly in the title.

Contractual Transfer

Assets such as life insurance and qualified retirement plans transfer by contract to named beneficiaries outside of probate.

Estate Planning Guidance

In many cases, a simple will can suffice as a way to ensure the desired transfer of assets and guardianship of children. Estates of a larger size or that contain illiquid assets such as real estate, may require the guidance of a qualified attorney to structure the most appropriate planning arrangement.  An estate planning attorney can also arrange your estate in a way that can eliminate any potential friction among heirs.  If the estate is of a significant size that might subject it to estate taxes, then an attorney can suggest arrangements that will minimize them.

Estate tax laws change periodically as do the individual’s financial situation which can make an estate plan obsolete if it is not reviewed periodically.  A good estate planning team, consisting of an attorney, a trust administrator, a life insurance agent and an investment advisor representative, can provide the necessary guidance to ensure that your estate plan is current and operable.

For more information on planning your estate, contact us today.

Insurance

Insurance is essential to any comprehensive financial security plan. If tragic events like death, disability or critical illness strike, insurance can protect you and your family from undue hardship. Some life insurance policies also provide tax-advantaged savings that you can draw on to achieve goals like buying a house or retiring comfortably.

I have access to a variety of insurance products that can help meet your financial security planning needs. No matter your personal situation—if you’re single or in a family; a professional or a seasonal employee; an executive or small business owner—we will work together to design a customized plan.

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Life insurance

In the event of death, life insurance offers surviving family members increased financial security. As a tax-free lump sum payment, it can pay for final expenses and debts, as well as provide income for the deceased’s dependents.

The advantages of life insurance include:

An instant estate for your loved ones at a time when funds are most needed
Death benefits that are almost always non-taxable for named beneficiaries
Avoid probate costs if you name a beneficiary other than your estate
Potentially offer your loved ones creditor protection through some life insurance plans
Build tax-advantaged capital for retirement purposes or provide liquid savings through some permanent life insurance plans

I can help you select coverage from a variety of life insurance options to meet the needs identified in your financial security plan.

Life insurance can play a vital role in your financial security plan - contact us today to find out how.

Long-term Care, Disability and Critical Illness insurance

Help protect one of your most valuable assets – your income – from unexpected events through long-term care, disability and critical illness insurance.

Long-term care and disability insurance

Income is important for both current financial obligations (e.g. grocery bills and mortgage payments) and for future financial security (e.g. planning for your children’s education or for retirement). Just think what might happen if you suddenly lost your income stream through a long-term illness or disability.

Long-term care and disability insurance products help protect your ability to earn an income, which can be affected if you are afflicted by a disability or other condition.

I can help you choose the long-term care and disability insurance products that provide advantages like:

Helping maintain your financial independence, lifestyle and long-term financial security plan in the event your income is impacted by disability
Assist with paying fixed expenses for your business if you become disabled
Support the buy-out of a disabled partner’s share of a business

I can help you tailor your financial security plan so it protects your income through long-term care and disability insurance. Contact us today to find out how.

Critical illness insurance

Suffering a critical illness is distressing for both you and your family. Help ease the burden through insurance that will reduce financial stresses and can complement disability and life insurance protection needs. By helping pay for the additional expenses often associated with a critical illness or condition, insurance offers you, your family, and if applicable, your business, added financial security—so you can focus on recovery.

The advantages of critical illness insurance can include:

Coverage for up to 22 critical illnesses or conditions
An initial lump-sum benefit you can use however you wish—from making mortgage payments to seeking medical treatment outside Canada
Home-care costs during illness and recovery periods
Even if you’re not disabled from working, you may receive payment
The ability to provide a return of premium benefit (optional)
Individuals who cannot obtain disability insurance in some cases still qualify for critical illness coverage (e.g. a non-income earning spouse)

Contact us today to determine whether critical illness insurance fits into your financial security plan.

 

 

Wills

Trusts

Insurance

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