The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning: Everything You Need to Know Today to Protect Your…

Paperback | January 7, 2011

byDouglas Gray, John Budd

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We all know we need a will, one that is current and reflects our wishes and changing life events. So why do two-thirds of Canadians still die without a will - without a plan for passing on their assets the way they want? Why do Canadians still risk losing everything to creditors or the government, or certain relatives being awarded assets by provincial government formulas, none of which were the deceased's intention? Approximately one out of four Canadians die suddenly, so advance will and estate planning is critical.

In this third edition of the bestselling The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning, Canada's foremost author team of experts in estate planning provide you with insights and options, practical suggestions, and authoritative guidance. You can then discuss your customized and evolving needs and wishes with your professional advisors in an informed fashion, to ensure your assets are protected and your family and beneficiary needs are met with strategic tax and estate planning. This approach will save you time, money, tax, stress, and anxiety.

Using practical checklists, real-life examples, and answers to frequently asked questions, Douglas Gray, LL.B, and John Budd, F.C.A., provide helpful guidance on many important topics, including guardianship, powers of attorney, trusts, probate, special options for small and family businesses, passing on the family cottage, charitable giving, tax planning, estate planning, insurance and much more. Also includes an extensive glossary and appendix, and invaluable resource information and websites.

Completely updated to reflect the latest changes in relevant legislation and taxation, and with a new chapter on preserving and increasing your net worth, The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning explains how to:

  • Obtain expert legal advice to prepare a will to protect your interests and assets
  • Ensure that your assets will pass to the intended beneficiaries without hassle
  • Use special legal and estate planning strategies to protect your business
  • Avoid family feuds and spousal disputes
  • Minimize or avoid income taxes and capital gains taxes through strategic tax and estate planning
  • Use the latest tax laws to maximize the benefits of charitable giving

    Don't let the government be your principal beneficiary - take the time to plan ahead!

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    From the Publisher

    We all know we need a will, one that is current and reflects our wishes and changing life events. So why do two-thirds of Canadians still die without a will - without a plan for passing on their assets the way they want? Why do Canadians still risk losing everything to creditors or the government, or certain relatives being awarded as...

    From the Jacket

    REVISED, UPDATED AND EXPANDED THIRD EDITIONPraise for previous editions of The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning"The authors have done a masterful job.. This is a shelf reference every Canadian taxpayer and every Canadian family should have." - GLOBE AND MAIL"An informative, practical guide..The authors.cover all the bases."- ...

    Douglas Gray, LL.B., is an entrepreneur, a speaker, and an author of 25 bestselling business, real estate, and personal finance books. A former lawyer, he is now an educator on estate and retirement planning. Douglas lives in Vancouver. For more information, visit: www.estateplanning.ca. John Budd, F.C.A., is a Chartered Accountant...

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    Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 9.1 × 7.8 × 1 inPublished:January 7, 2011Publisher:McGraw-Hill EducationLanguage:English

    The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

    ISBN - 10:0071753745

    ISBN - 13:9780071753746

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    Customer Reviews of The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning: Everything You Need to Know Today to Protect Your Wealth and Your Family Tomorrow 3E: Everything You N

    Reviews

    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very useful guide A good overview of all you need to know in planning your estate, writing your will, types of living wills, retirement residences, care facilities, and planning your funeral. These might not be cheery subjects, but you will save your family a lot of heartache, confusion, extra work and expense by taking care of these things in advance. This book really helped me understand the things I needed to do and where to start, I'd highly recommend it.
    Date published: 2016-05-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Extremely Useful An excellent guide to estate planning. Provides a great review of everything the average person needs to know about wills and estates. Easily readable. Makes a complex subject easily understood.
    Date published: 2016-05-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent, Understandable and Comprehensive An excellent, comprehensive and understandable guide to an otherwise complex area. I have bought and read many books by the same author (Douglas Gray), who is an experienced lawyer and very knowledgeable on the subject matter. I like his candid writing style, his recommendations and reasons why, and his examples of pitfalls to avoid. A highly recommended book.
    Date published: 2016-04-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent and amazingly useful guide! This book is incredibly useful in all aspects of will and estate planning. From taxes (Canadian and U.S. taxes faced by Canadians), to preparing your will, to finding a care facility, to dealing with your family business, to finding the right professionals - it's all there. For once, you won't be stuck trying to figure out what information applies to Canadians - it's an all-Canadian book. The checklists and references are extremely useful and helpful in making major life planning decisions. If you're thinking about your future, don't miss this book.
    Date published: 2011-01-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb book - highly recommended This truly is a superb book and 100% Canadian in content. I read the 2nd edition of the book several years ago, and the 3rd edition which was just released is even better. Very comprehensive and written by two pros who know the subject well and how to explain it in a reader-friendly way. Highly recommended.
    Date published: 2011-01-26

    Extra Content

    Table of Contents

    CHAPTER 1: What Is Estate Planning?
    Regardless of your age, the issue of estate planning, in conjunction with your will, is an essentialelement of life planning. However, at different stages of your life, certain issues may arise that requiredifferent estate planning strategies.

    CHAPTER 2: What Assets Will You Have?
    You could be quite surprised once you assess the current and projected value of your estate. After youread this chapter and complete the net worth statement in Appendix D, speak to your professional advisorand decide on the best approach to meet you wishes.
    How Much Are You Worth? • Pension Plans—Government and Employer • Your Own Tax-ShelteredPension Plans • Your Home as an Additional Source of Income • Insurance for Your Present and FutureNeeds • Are You Protected Against Default? • Keeping Track of Risk

    CHAPTER 3: Building Your Estate
    Three Elements of Wealth Accumulation: Saving, Investing and Preserving Capital

    CHAPTER 4: Understanding Wills
    It is estimated that only one out of three adults has a will, which means that two-thirds of Canadiansdie with their wishes unmet. A will is an important legal document that can ensure that your assets willbe distributed to the beneficiaries of your choice in the way you wish.
    What Happens If There Is No Will? • What’s in a Will? • Reflecting Your Wishes • Writing a Memorandumto Your Will • Keep Your Will Current • How to Change Your Will • Revoking Your Will • Is Your Will Validin the U.S.? • Preparing a Will • Benefits of Using the Services of a Trust Company • The ComplementaryDocument—Power of Attorney • Protecting Yourself in All Circumstances • Selecting an Executor • Selectinga Trustee • Selecting a Guardian for Your Children • Impact of Family Law Legislation • Fees and Expenses• How to Avoid Your Will Being Contested

    CHAPTER 5: Understanding Powers of Attorney and Living Wills
    You will probably want to give authority to others to act on your behalf at some point in your life.Whether it is to help or take charge of financial situations or medical care, the power of attorneyis the document that will allow you to choose your designate and set out the guidelines you wish tobe followed.
    Designating Power of Attorney • Living Wills

    CHAPTER 6: Understanding Trusts
    Trusts are a very common way of dealing with a range of personal choice, family or business optionsand, as you will see, are not just for the rich with complex financial affairs.
    Types of Trusts • The Creative Use of Living Trusts • Creating a Testamentary Trust • Selecting a Trustee •Benefits of Using the Services of a Trust Company • What Are the Fees and Expenses? • Outlining Everythingin a Trust Agreement • The Tax Implications of a Trust

    CHAPTER 7: Understanding the Probate Process
    While not all estates must go through the probate process, most estates do. Basically, the probate processensures that your executor, or the administrator of your estate, is legally confirmed and that your will isapproved by the courts.
    What Is Probate? • Administration of the Estate • Responsibilities of the Executor/Administrator • Fees forExecutors • Potential Liability of the Executor • Making the Most of It—Reducing Probate Fees

    CHAPTER 8: Death and Taxes
    Don’t be fooled—just because there is no inheritance tax, as such, in Canada, the beneficiaries of yourestate will incur a significant amount of tax in the settling of your estate unless you do an effective jobin planning your estate for tax minimization.
    The History of Estate Taxes in Canada • Capital Gains Taxation in Canada • Capital Gains Taxation onDeath • Capital Gains Taxation on Gifts During Your Lifetime • Other Taxes That Could Be Payable by anEstate

    CHAPTER 9: Dealing with the Tax Department and Estate Administration
    The final “moments of reckoning,” in terms of estate administration, are the filing of your final taxreturn. It is your executor’s responsibility to see that all of your debts are paid—even the ones to theCanada Revenue Agency.
    Income Tax Returns for the Deceased • Special Tax Rules Applicable to Deceased Taxpayers • Tax Returns toBe Filed by the Executors for the Estate • Winding Up the Estate

    CHAPTER 10: Tax Planning Strategies
    Tax “planning” as opposed to tax “evasion” is perfectly legal. While this chapter won’t make you anexpert, the odds are that at least one of the strategies outlined will help you minimize the future taxespayable in your estate.
    Your Primary Tax Planning Goals • Your General Estate Planning Objectives • Transferring Property to YourSpouse • Utilizing the $750,000 Capital Gains Exemption for Small Business Corporation Shares • Utilizingthe Farm Property Rollover • Estate Freezing • Using Family Trusts for Income Splitting and Estate Planning

    CHAPTER 11: Tax and Estate Planning if You Own U.S. Assets
    As if the tax laws of one country weren’t enough, you may be subject to the tax laws in both Canada andthe United States if you live in the U.S. part-time or own property or other investments there.
    Do U.S. Tax Laws Apply to You? • Residency and the Tax Treaty • Summary of Guidelines Regarding Filinga U.S. Income Tax Return • The IRS Wants Your Number • The IRS Has Your Number • Deadlines for Filingwith the IRS • Rental Income from U.S. Real Estate • Selling Your U.S. Real Estate • U.S. Gift Tax • PossibleSimultaneous U.S. and Canadian Taxes on Death • The Canada/U.S. Tax Treaty • Strategies for ReducingU.S. Tax on Your U.S. Assets

    CHAPTER 12: Vacation Properties
    Vacations are a time to relax and forget your worries. Financial concerns and capital gains taxes shouldbe the last thing on your mind. This chapter will provide some ideas for dealing with vacation propertiesin your estate planning.
    Keeping Things in Perspective • The Principal Residence Exemption • Will Planning and Your VacationProperty • Planning Strategies for Your Vacation Home • Should You Pay Tax Now or Later? • Buying LifeInsurance to Cover Future Tax Liabilities • Using a Corporation to Own Your Vacation Property

    CHAPTER 13: The Family Business
    With more than 100,000 family businesses in Canada, they have been the driving force building andsustaining our economy from Confederation to the present time. This chapter will help you create aneffective succession arrangement and estate plan.
    The Importance of Having a Plan • The Planning Process • Tax Planning in the Family Business •Shareholder Agreements • Creditor-Proofing Your Business

    CHAPTER 14: Charitable Giving and Philanthropy
    Many of the greatest works of art are on display in public art galleries and museums for all to enjoybecause of the philanthropy of past Canadians. Charitable donations can be made in many differentways—cash, works of art, marketable securities. Choosing the best method will maximize your incometax saving.
    Tax Incentives for Charitable Gifts • Types of Donations • Private Foundations

    CHAPTER 15: Life, Health and Disability Insurance
    You must choose according to your needs from among the many types of life, health and disabilityinsurance. The type of insurance you choose can play an important role in your estate planningstrategy.
    Identifying the Need for Life Insurance • Types of Life Insurance • Choosing an Insurance Agent • Choosinga Life Insurance Company • Comparison of Group Over Individual Insurance • Income Tax Treatment ofLife Insurance • Health and Disability Insurance • Business-Related Insurance

    CHAPTER 16: Selecting Professional Advisors
    Selecting the professional advisors that “fit” you is vital to protect your tax and estate planning interests.This chapter will outline the qualities and qualifications to look for in a lawyer, an accountant, a financialplanner and other financial and investment advisors.
    General Factors to Consider When Selecting an Advisor • Selecting a Lawyer • Selecting an Accountant •Selecting a Financial Planner • Other Financial and Investment Advisors

    CHAPTER 17: Selecting Retirement Residences and Care Facilities
    Whether by choice or circumstance, you may need to enter a retirement residence or care facility in yourlater years. Use this chapter and the checklists to plan and choose wisely.
    What Is a Retirement Residence? • What Is a Care Facility? • Regulation, Licencing and Accreditation

    CHAPTER 18: Planning Your Funeral
    In the midst of the grief and sorrow of losing a loved one, responsibilities have to be faced and decisionsmade consistent with the philosophical and spiritual beliefs of the deceased. Information in this chapterwill help you make those decisions wisely and with confidence.
    What Is a Funeral? • Arranging Your Funeral Services in Advance • Make Your Funeral or Memorial ServiceMore Memorable • Expressions of Sympathy • When Death Requires an Autopsy • Documents and Permits •Support Services • Making the Arrangements Yourself • Selecting a Funeral Provider • Understanding FuneralCosts • The Funeral Service • Burial or Cremation? • The Availability of Financial Benefits and Assistance •Organ Donations and Medical Research

    APPENDIX A: Sources of Information
    One of the challenges of research is to know where to start. This Appendix will save you a great deal oftime, energy, money and hassle.

    APPENDIX B: Samples
    Samples of documents discussed throughout the book will provide you with some more ideas, but theseare for illustration only and must not be used as do-it-yourself documents.

    APPENDIX C: Charts
    The handy charts in this Appendix will provide some points of comparison on topics discussedthroughout the book.

    APPENDIX D: Checklists
    These checklists will help you take stock of your current situation and focus on your future goals.

    GLOSSARY
    The definitions here will ensure that you and your professional advisors are speaking the same language.