Retirement & Estate Planning

At Greenfeld Financial, our team works closely with you to ensure your retirement future is secure.
We can assist you with:

  • When to convert an RRSP to a Retirement Income Fund (RIF)    

  • When to take OAP & CPP              
  • Group Pension Planning

  • Portfolio adjustments for income generation             

Estate planning is just as important. Specifically, estate planning allows you to decide exactly who will benefit from their estate, and to what extent. Estate planning also ensures that the estate will not be destroyed by taxes imposed on the transfer of assets at death. 

Want to get started on a Financial Plan? Click here to download our Financial Planning Fact Finder!

 
The Family Cottage

While selling a cottage to a stranger or third party is fairly straight forward, handing down your property to family members raises some crucial issues.

 

It may be important for you to pass on the cottage to continue a family connection, but you should carefully consider your plans so that you avoid future complications.

There will be tax issues, certainly, but typically more far-reaching and significant are the emotional and personal implications for your family. There are many true stories of families where disputes and misunderstandings about the future of the family cottage have caused permanent rifts between family members.

 

Planning ahead is extremely important and, ideally, all the interested parties should be brought into the discussion upfront so that you can reach some sort of consensus together.
 

Learn more about how to pass on the family cottage.

Transfer of Assets Upon Death

If your spouse passes away his or her assets will need to be distributed to you and any other beneficiaries. Different rules apply to different types of assets and our office can assist you in learning the rules for each of the following assets:

Registered Retirement Savings Plans
Annuities
Registered Retirement Income Funds
Deferred Profit-Sharing Plan (DPSP)
Non-Registered Assets
Real Estate
Non-Spouse Death
Insurance Policies*

Taxes Upon Death

The proceeds of a person’s estate cannot be distributed to beneficiaries until all estate debts have been paid and tax is usually the largest debt. This can present difficulties if there is not enough cash in the estate to satisfy the tax bill which may mean selling estate assets. Where there are non-registered assets such as real estate there may be capital gains that arise and where there are registered assets such as RRSPs or RRIFs, the full market values will be taxed. Consequently, the beneficiaries may not receive what the deceased intended. In the case of a family home, the Principal Residence Exemption will often serve to protect any of the gains from tax.
 

Probate

Probate fees are the provincial/territorial death taxes levied on the value of a deceased’s estate. Although taxes cannot be avoided, there are ways to avoid or reduce probate fees by having assets pass outside the estate such as having a named beneficiary on registered funds such as RRSPs and life insurance. Having assets registered in Joint Tenancy will also result in assets passing outside the estate.

Tax & Estate Planning

The primary concern when planning your wealth transfer is your Will. If you do not have a Will in place when you die you are said to have died ‘intestate’. This will result in several problems.

First, you will not have a representative and the provincial court will have to appoint one. This will take time. Second, and more importantly, any assets you owned at death will then be distributed to family members according to a provincial formula and it may result in your assets being distributed in a way that you did not intend.

Will planning Checklist

Estate Planning Issues to Consider

  • It is a good idea to use a lawyer or notary to draw up your Will.

  • When you complete a Will, you will need to name an Executor (or Executrix if a woman).

  • Think about if it makes sense to pass down your assets now. Issues here include losing control of the assets and any adverse tax consequences.

  • Establishing a trust where the assets are held in the trust on behalf of the beneficiary.

  • Seek guidance from a qualified tax professional when passing on a business corporation.
     

Minimize Taxes

  • Structure your retirement income plan to minimize any negative impact on benefits.

  • Spousal Rollovers are beneficial tax tools available if you have a spouse when you die.

  • If your children are your beneficiaries, a method to deal with the taxes is to take out insurance on your own life with your estate as the beneficiary.

  • Make charitable bequests.

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

What is it?
An RDSP is a savings plan that provides people with disabilities an easy and effective way to save and invest for their long-term financial security.
 

Who is it for?
Anybody who can claim the Disability Tax Credit may be eligible.

RDSPs Have Three Distinct Advantages:

  • Earnings grow tax-free until the money is taken out of the plan. This means that RDSP contributions can grow faster, allowing for accelerated growth in the plan.

  • RDSPs may be eligible to receive federal government incentives of up to $3500 annually and a lifetime amount of $70,000 in grants. Annual amounts of $1000 and a lifetime maximum of $20,000 in bonds may also be available.

  • Income payments from an RDSP do not affect Old Age Security payments, GIS or CPP. In most provinces and territories, you will still quality for existing provincial social assistance programs if you have an RDSP.

For further information on RDSPs, click here

Qualified Recognized Overseas Pensions (QROPS)

What is it?
The Qualified Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) allows eligible expats to transfer qualifying pensions into a Canadian RRSP.
 

Who is it for?
QROPS is appropriate for persons over the age of 55 who hold a qualifying U.K. pension and intend to live outside of the U.K. for more than five years.

How it works

QROPS has a number of potential benefits, including:
• Tax efficiency
• Favourable inheritance transfers
• Reduced currency-related investment volatility
• Access to a broader range of investments

 

Transferring your U.K. pension is relatively straightforward. The investor must supply various forms to both the UK and the Canadian pension administrator.

 

For more detailed info, click here.

 
 
 
 

*Insurance products provided through Hollis Insurance Agency. Only those services offered through HollisWealth, a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

©2019 Greenfeld Financial Management

4877 Delta Street
Delta, BC Canada V4K 2T9

Tel: 604.940.8617
Fax: 604.940.8561

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