Saturday 9 March 2013

Book ~ "The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning" (2010) Douglas Gray and John Budd

From Chapters Indigo ~ We all know we need a will, one that is current and reflects our wishes and changing life events. So why do two-thirds of Canadians still die without a will - without a plan for passing on their assets the way they want? Why do Canadians still risk losing everything to creditors or the government, or certain relatives being awarded assets by provincial government formulas, none of which were the deceased's intention? Approximately one out of four Canadians die suddenly, so advance will and estate planning is critical.

In this third edition of the bestselling The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning, Canada's foremost author team of experts in estate planning provide you with insights and options, practical suggestions, and authoritative guidance. You can then discuss your customized and evolving needs and wishes with your professional advisors in an informed fashion, to ensure your assets are protected and your family and beneficiary needs are met with strategic tax and estate planning. This approach will save you time, money, tax, stress, and anxiety.

Using practical checklists, real-life examples, and answers to frequently asked questions, Douglas Gray, LL.B, and John Budd, F.C.A., provide helpful guidance on many important topics, including guardianship, powers of attorney, trusts, probate, special options for small and family businesses, passing on the family cottage, charitable giving, tax planning, estate planning, insurance and much more. Also includes an extensive glossary and appendix, and invaluable resource information and websites.

Completely updated to reflect the latest changes in relevant legislation and taxation, and with a new chapter on preserving and increasing your net worth, The Canadian Guide to Will and Estate Planning explains how to:
  • Obtain expert legal advice to prepare a will to protect your interests and assets 
  • Ensure that your assets will pass to the intended beneficiaries without hassle 
  • Use special legal and estate planning strategies to protect your business 
  • Avoid family feuds and spousal disputes 
  • Minimize or avoid income taxes and capital gains taxes through strategic tax and estate planning 
  • Use the latest tax laws to maximize the benefits of charitable giving 
Don't let the government be your principal beneficiary - take the time to plan ahead!

I work in the group retirement industry and conduct seminars and one-on-ones.  I talk about planning for retirement, investing, retirement payout options, government benefits, etc.  As such, I thought this book would be interesting.

It's amazing the amount of people I talk with who aren't prepared .... they don't have a will, power of attorney, etc. This book is a good guide to tell you the things you should be doing along with worksheets, checklists, a glossary and a list of resources in the back.

None of us are looking forward to death but there are things you should do to put your affairs in order so when it does happen, your assets will be distributed the way you want them to be.  All the provinces are different but here in Ontario, for example, if you die without a will and have:
  • Spouse - all assets to spouse
  • Spouse and relatives but no children - all assets to spouse
  • Children only - all assets to children
  • Spouse and one child - first $200,000 to spouse, rest split equally
  • Spouse and children - first $200,000 to spouse, 1/3 of rest to spouse, 2/3 of rest to children
  • No spouse or children - all assets to closest next of kin in this order:  parents, brothers/sisters (if no parents), nephews/nieces (if no brothers/sisters) ... if no next of kin, the government gets your assets

Wouldn't it be better in your will to leave your assets to a charity if you have no family rather than have the government take them?

I think this is a book every Canadian should read to prepare for their retirement and beyond.

Since the book was printed, the government has changed some of the rules for their benefits (for example, if you were born after January 1, 1962, you won't receive Old Age Security until you are 67 rather than 65).  So you should check the government's website for the up-to-date rules.

I received a copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review. 

1 comment:

Masshole Mommy said...

Sounds like there is some great info in this book.