It is an increasingly relevant issue in modern estate planning: how to distribute (or otherwise deal with) one's digital assets. And by "digital assets" we mean anything from pictures on your Facebook page to online investments and electronic banking.
As our lives become ever more entwined with online and digital activities, the distribution of digital assets is an increasingly relevant aspect of estate planning. In fact, we discussed the issue in one of our recent posts, "Does your estate plan account for digital property?"
If you have been appointed as an estate trustee in Ontario but are unsure of how to manage all of your duties, then you are not alone. Many trustees and executors feel this way, especially after the death of a loved one.
Canadian investors with tax free savings accounts will be reassessing their tax exposure in 2016. Starting Jan. 1, the annual TFSA contribution limit will roll back from $10,000 to $5,500.
Creating a will is an essential part of any comprehensive estate plan, but too often disputes over estate assets -- along with the resulting heartache among family members -- are due to mistakes in the will or failure to update it when major life events occur.
Estate litigation is often a result of conflicts that did to get addressed during the estate planning process. Much of estate planning involves consideration of specific family dynamics. For example, maybe one heir to an estate handles money matters particularly well, while another certainly doesn't -- or at least not yet. To protect estate assets, you can account for family dynamics with a number of estate planning items, including your will and, if you choose, a trust.
Many Ontario residents are unclear about the laws relating to the debts of an individual who has passed away. Some worry about being pursued by debt collectors after a relative dies, and others are concerned that their inheritance will be eroded by a benefactor's credit card bills and other debts. While a last will and testament is an important estate planning document, it addresses the distribution of assets and not the payment of debts.
Ontario residents may be interested in an explanation of the tax implications for different types of inherited assets. Either the estate of the owner of the assets or the beneficiary may face taxes depending on the type of inheritance and the instructions to the executor. In some cases, a decedent's taxes will be paid by the estate, provided that the executor of the estate was directed to do so. The beneficiary would then inherit these funds as taxpaid money, and no tax would be owed.
Residents of the greater Toronto area may be interested in some information regarding the three types of documents that every estate plan should contain. These documents help to ease the burden on the executor and dictate what will happen to a person's assets after his or her death.