The legacy of love blog

Protecting the Interests of your Children in a Blended Family

estate planning Dec 25, 2019

Blended families are becoming increasingly common and often face several estate planning challenges. Consider the following scenario:

Don and Pat were married in 2000, and it was a second marriage for each of them. Don had 1 child from a prior relationship, and Pat had 3. Don and Pat had equal financial assets at the time.

While drafting their wills in 2009, Don and Pat agreed that all property would transfer to the survivor of Don and Pat on the death of the first of them. They also agreed...

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Best Practices for Family Trusts

estate planning Oct 30, 2019

Family Trusts are a powerful and effective financial planning and asset protection tool. Traditional reasons for creating a trust include will and succession planning, asset and legal liability protection and asset administration.

However, Trust has evolved as a tax planning and minimization tool, especially for the family business and high net-worth individuals. In many instances Trusts were created solely for tax purposes.

In response, the Government of Canada has slowly been closing...

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Blast from the Past - 1994 capital gain exemption

Recently our office has dealt with several estates where the deceased had purchased property prior to 1994. The property included cottages, artwork, rental properties and business. 

Back in 1994 the government eliminated the general lifetime exemption of $100,000.00 on all capital assets. To make up for the elimination, and to make sure anyone who had property and didn't sell it would still get this benefit, the Revenue Canada (now called the CRA) allowed a one time election (using form...

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The Power Of A Written List

estate planning Aug 22, 2019

When thinking of the legacies you are leaving people, it can be difficult to decide what to give and to whom. Money is often a large part of inheritance, but perhaps there are certain items you wish to bequeath to family and friends as a way to remember you. To whom and what you bequeath is an important consideration that is worthy of as much time as is put into considering your residuary beneficiaries. 

What are the main concerns?

What you leave to your loved ones after your...

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Who should you appoint as your Executor?

Appointing an Executor to administer and handle your estate is an important decision. This is the person (or people – or organization) that you are entrusting with the disposition of your property and possessions. Basically, your Executor will grant your final wishes.

Here are three things to consider when appointing an Executor:

1. Age and Qualifications

It is important to take the qualifications of your Executor into consideration. While they are not required to be an expert in...

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What Should I do with the Cabin?

Family cabins provide memories of times sitting in the sun,sipping wine or drinking beer, however for some families the cottage goes from being the family castle to being the family haunted house.

Whenever a married couple owns a family cottage their wills should state who gets the cottage after the last of them dies. Many time the couple will want to give the cottage equally to all their children equally. While other times people may want to create various other vehicles for the...

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Mobile Wills

estate planning wills May 08, 2019

Our clients are increasingly mobile and often have connections to multiple jurisdictions. They may own a house in Palm Springs, have bank accounts in the UK, a cottage in Croatia, or a business in Spain.

Our office once dealt with and estate where a husband and wife had been married for several years. They had three lovely children, and owned a successful business in Edmonton. When the husband past, everything rolled over to his wife...BUT the condo in Hawaii! We had to take the Canadian will...

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What happens to your joint bank accounts when you die?

estate planning Apr 22, 2019

Intent: A desire and will to act in a particular way.

It is this premise that serves as the foundation for determining how funds will be distributed in a joint bank account. The exact definition of “intent” becomes an issue when a parent holds a joint bank account with their child – let us explain:

Parents may hold a bank account jointly with their children because:

1.      It is intended as a gift via the right of survivorship;

2....

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Should I put my children on title?

estate planning Apr 15, 2019

What are the perceived benefits of joint ownership?

The right of survivorship is a convincing attribute of joint ownership. The law states that when one of the joint owners passes away, the surviving joint owner(s) will automatically obtain the deceased person’s share. Accordingly, the asset would flow outside of the deceased person’s estate. If an asset flows outside of an estate, it will not be included in the overall value of the estate that is subsequently used to determine...

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Step-grandchildren and your estate plan

estate planning Apr 04, 2019

These days, blended families are more common than the traditional nuclear family.  As a grandparent who has step-grandchildren, you may wish to understand who will inherit should you leave a portion of your estate to your “grandchildren”, or should you provide in your Will that if your child pre-deceases you, their share will go to “the deceased child’s children”.  

In Alberta, step-grandchildren are not automatically included in a Will. ...

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