Nathalie B. Poisson
Practice Leader, Notarial and Estate Law
Lessons from the pandemic
This pandemic period reminds us of how fragile health can be and how life can be unpredictable at times. Now is a good time to take a look at the measures we’ve taken to make life easier for our loved ones in the event of our incapacity and when we die, and to ensure that we have made the best use of all those available to us.
Always up-to-date documents!
First, we recommend that you regularly review your legal documents: protection mandate, will, cohabitation agreement, shareholders’ agreement, partnership agreement and others.
Because there are always changes...
Laws (civil and tax) are often amended and your legal documents that were drafted a few years ago may no longer be adequate due to these changes. For example, since January 1, 2016, income from a testamentary trust is no longer taxed at graduated tax rates, with certain exceptions. Wills signed before that date, which provided for the creation of trusts for tax savings only, may need to be revised. Since January 1, 2016, the income generated in a trust created by a will is taxed at the highest marginal personal tax rate (53.31% in 2020), from the first dollar of income earned in the trust.
Since the signing of your legal documents, you may have experienced happy events such as a marriage or the birth of a child. You may have faced challenges (divorce, loss of a loved one, end of a business partnership, bankruptcy). Each of these events warrants a review of your legal documents, since each could have a significant impact on the plan made at the time when you signed the original documents.
You may have partnered with other business partners, or even incorporated. If so, you may have set up an inter vivos trust to hold the participating shares of your company. An analysis of the ownership of your company’s shares is important when setting up your estate plan.
If your children are of adult age and able to perform tasks such as those of a mandatary, liquidator or trustee, you may want to change the appointment of your sister, brother-in-law or friend in that capacity and designate one of your children instead.
You will be reassured to know that in this health crisis period, the notaries and tax specialists of Professionals’ Financial are always there for you and, even if they work remotely, they can help you set up a fully optimized estate plan for you and your family at no cost.
Cover all your needs, without overlooking anything!
After learning about your personal, family and financial situation, we analyze your current legal documents. We then submit our recommendations to you concerning, for example, the review of your will or your protection mandate in the event of incapacity.
Adapt your estate plan to your current reality
We help you prepare your new will and protection mandate. The process begins with a meeting during which we gather all the necessary information. We then prepare a letter that summarizes your main wishes regarding the drafting of your will and your protection mandate. We advise you throughout the process so that you can benefit from our expertise and put in place the best legal and tax strategies in setting up your estate plan.
Choose the liquidator for your estate
When preparing your new will, it’s essential to make the best choices regarding the appointment of the liquidator of your estate. The task of a liquidator is complex: it requires time, resourcefulness, organization, thoroughness, impartiality, integrity and diverse knowledge in several fields (legal, tax, financial, accounting).
If you do not want to impose this burden on your loved ones, Professionals’ Financial offers you an estate liquidator service: we’ll take full charge of this aspect of your estate plan, including responsibility for the liquidator’s task
Designate the trustee of a testamentary trust
Your will could provide for the devolution of your property in favour of one or more trusts created for the benefit of loved ones such as your spouse, your children or your grandchildren. A person must be designated as trustee in order to administer the trust patrimony according to the terms and conditions provided in your will. This way, you will control what happens to the residue of the trust property upon the death of the beneficiary of the trust.
Again, the trustee’s task is one that requires skill and diverse knowledge. You can designate Professionals’ Financial (in collaboration with our partner Trust Eterna inc.) to act as trustee for any of the trusts you may create in your will. This will ensure that an impartial person will take on this role, which could be uncomfortable for a family member when there are difficult but necessary decisions to be made for the benefit of the beneficiary.
Provide assistance for your liquidator
Professionals’ Financial also offers an assistance service for the liquidator of your estate. In this case, it is partial assistance, to help your liquidator perform certain administrative tasks for the settlement of your estate.
Benefit from our expertise, with confidence!
Reminding us of the precariousness of life, the current health crisis is prompting us to put our personal and professional affairs in order. Planning your estate is an important step, regardless of your age. You create your wealth and build your success over time, through hard work, for your well-being and that of your loved ones.
When the time comes to put in place measures for the transfer of your wealth, you need to be understood and well advised to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Surrounding yourself with seasoned financial advisors is essential when you begin your estate plan. Choose professionals who have the necessary expertise and integrity to bring this plan to fruition.
Professionals’ Financial has developed a variety of services to respond to your needs: we can take care of everything. Discuss it with your advisor: he’s your direct link to all our expertise.
Nathalie B. Poisson, LL.B., D.D.N.
Practice Leader, Notarial and Estate Law
The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of this information, and it may be incomplete. The opinions expressed are based upon our analysis and interpretation of this information and are not to be construed as a recommendation. For any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your wealth management advisor or your tax specialist, accountant or legal advisor.