Earlier this year I blogged on the impact of baby boomers on the practice of estate lawyers. I commented in that blog about boomers inheriting the wealth of their parents, who are possibly the richest group in Canada. Below I have summarized some housekeeping tips for these affluent individuals when considering their estate plan, proffered by David Louis in Aging Boomers Up the Estate Planning Ante – Part II, published in the May 2007 edition of The Estate Planner.
- the estate freeze – don’t forget about the value accumulated in a family trust when estate planning. Otherwise, you may find yourself making elaborate instructions in your Will without considering that your personal assets are worth only a fraction of your business and investment interests.
- personally held assets – you could benefit from transfering buildings and other assets into a corporation or partnership, so that the exposure on the deemed disposition would be treated as a capital gain, rather than be fully taxable.
- Pre-Mortem Redemptions – if a corporation is generating refundable tax, it may be advantageous to systematically redeem freeze shares (as the personal tax resulting from deemed dividends on redemption would largely be tax-paid).
- family law considerations – keep in mind that if an estate freeze was effected prior to the marriage of a beneficiary, it is not clear that a distribution from the trust after the marriage would be protected from a family law claim (if the marriage ended), which could mean a fight over the post-marriage appreciation.
Natalia R. Angelini