Estate Planning is an all encompassing phrase. It can be a very complicated and emotional topic. In most scenarios, there is no absolute right answer. It needs to be flexible as your wishes for your final Estate distribution most likely will change over time.
Proper Estate planning will help:
- Preserve wealth by minimizing tax erosion
- Provide you with an understanding of your final Estate tax bill
- Ensure that there is liquidity in the Estate to pay final Estate tax bill
- Ensure there is income for retirement or for supporting dependents
- Maintaining family harmony
For business owners and professionals, this planning has become more complicated over the years because of in-depth tax planning. Tax advantages associated with income splitting and tax deferrals have made the use of corporations and family trusts common.
If you are a business owner or professional, we can help you review your corporate structure to ensure that it is best suited for your current situation. We can help you tailor planning and provide recommendations to help you minimize tax both while you are alive and in your Estate.
Chris Britton, CPA, CA is a tax and Estate planning specialist with more than 20 years of experience providing assistance to business owners and professionals. This tax planning experience combined with his life insurance product knowledge gives him a unique skill set in providing advice. For instance, many business owners are investing in a Holding Company. This is a prudent strategy that defers a significant amount of personal tax. However, growth on these investments are taxable. The deferred tax is taxable on distribution to the shareholders. Dividend tax has risen in recent years to be approximately 45%. Also, there is a potential for double tax on death (capital gains tax on shares and dividend tax on distribution) without proper planning. Life insurance can grow tax-free, is received tax-free and creates a capital dividend account (CDA) that can be paid to the shareholders tax-free. This eliminates the 45% dividend tax that is otherwise only deferred.
Some of the planning areas that we can provide assistance include:
- Estate Freeze and Wasting Estate Freeze
- Family Trusts - including 21-year rule planning
- Will review and planning
- Buy-Sell Agreement review or implementation
- Funding Buy-Sell Agreements for dealth or disability
- Estimating final tax bill
- Funding final tax bill
- Corporate owned life insurance
- Insured annuity and corporate insured annuity
- Estate equalization
- Insurance needs analysis
- Insurance audit to ensure your current coverage and product type best meet your needs