Saving Huge Amounts with the Help of Alberta Estate Planning
Most people do not like to think about their own mortality. In particular, people do not like to think about their own deaths. Failing to prepare for death can have negative consequences. For instance, many people try to avoid estate planning in the belief that they are just wasting money. The belief is not valid; estate planning can save you much money in taxes and other areas, as discussed below.
1. Not Being Able to Plan for Minor Beneficiaries
There are several repercussions if there is no will or if the will does not set out a trust to hold the funds of minor beneficiaries when they reach 18. First, the minor beneficiaries will receive all the capital in an estate at 18, which may be too early for them to manage large amounts of available money. There is also a cost associated with setting up a trust and filing the necessary paperwork to set it up. The application to the court and court costs are roughly $2000-$3000, but if someone contests the trust, this amount can increase. It is particularly important to set up a trust for minor beneficiaries if there is no will.
2. Applying for a Personal Directive
A living will names someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot speak for yourself. This type of directive is not activated until you are unable to make your own decisions. Proper Alberta estate planning includes this document in order to ensure that you do not suffer if you cannot make medical decisions for yourself. If you do not have this document in place, you could be faced with the prospect of someone having to obtain a guardianship order, which also costs about $2,000-$3,000. If a dispute arises as to who will make medical decisions on your behalf or what type of treatment to receive and there is no desire to take over this responsibility, the amount will increase significantly.
3. Establishing an Enduring Power of Attorney
A power of attorney, also called a durable power of attorney, can be used to appoint a person to make financial decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This person can do this under a specific authorization or one that is broad in scope. An enduring power of attorney can be used on your own initiative once you have it, or you can use it when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Becoming incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently, does not invalidate an enduring power of attorney.
4. Indicate Which Charitable Organizations to Donate To
If you wish to bequeath a portion of your estate to a charitable organization, you may receive a tax receipt from the charity. Alberta estate plans often incorporate gifts to current charities, which could save your estate thousands of dollars.
5. The Ability to Experience Flexibility of Asset Distribution
Generally, a will is a written document that gives the executor or personal representative the power to manage the deceased’s estate in specific ways. In some cases, it may be better for the estate to retain assets rather than divvy them up right away. For example, suppose the shares that you own in a publicly traded company are underperforming the rest of the market. In that case, it’s best for the estate to hold on to them until their value rebounds or until the exchange rate swings in favor of selling them. Doing this will leave more money for your beneficiaries than if you divvy up the estate right away.
It is important to have a financial plan in place. The above is just a small sample of what professional Alberta estate planning can offer you in the long run. The most important thing is that you start planning now! Doing it for your future is the best gift you can give both your family and your loved ones.
If you are looking for well-trusted estate planning lawyers in Medicine Hat, AB, look no further than our expert practitioners here at Hamilton Cahoon. We can assist you in all your legal matters including, family law, civil litigation, personal injury, real estate, and other legal matters. Call us today and let us establish a great estate plan for you.