An essential goal of Estate Planning is to reduce the impact that liabilities will occur at death. Most people aren’t aware of the impact of these taxes and fees.
For example, a list of these taxes and fees might include capital gains and income taxes on investments, RSPs/RIFs, probate fees, executor fees, legal fees, accounting fees and funeral expenses. In some cases other fees may arise such as appraisals, auctioneers and real estate fees.
Life insurance is a tool that many people utilize to help pay some of these taxes and fees; in other words to help preserve the value of an estate. In addition, life insurance can be used in other ways such as “estate equalization.” For example, perhaps you leave your home or cottage to a son or daughter and provide the life insurance benefits to another. As a grandparent, you may provide life insurance to pay for your grandchildren’s education.
Many Canadians successfully use life insurance as an investment that provides certain guarantees for their Estate Planning needs.
Many of us have been touched by different organizations in our lifetime. It may be our church or hospital, perhaps our university, or organization such as Heart & Stroke or Cancer. There are so many great causes, and in fact CRA says there are 80,000 different registered charities that we can contribute to.
We mention CRA specifically since they offer significant tax opportunities for charitable contributions. Life insurance can play a role, whether it is an existing policy or a new one (in which case we often use what we call a joint second-to-die policy).
There are a number of different ways that insurance can play a role. The two most popular being the donor receives a tax receipt every year for the premiums they pay into the policy, and their favoured charity will eventually receive the death benefit.
The other method used would be the donor pays the premiums and at death the insurance benefits are paid to the charity. This method is very popular also because the charity receives the life insurance, and then issues a tax receipt. In this situation the tax receipt is much larger, which can help minimize any taxes or fees that the donor’s estate may have.
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