Ontario residents may be interested to know that Jim Flaherty’s wife, an Ontario MPP, submitted the will of the recently deceased former Minister of Finance for Canada’s federal government to probate. The man, who died in April after suffering a heart attack at the age of 64, signed his will in 1996, presumably as one element of his estate planning strategy.
As a result of the filing, some information regarding Flaherty’s financial standing were made public in the probate forms. While a detailed accounting of the assets was not available, the net worth of the man’s estate at the time of his death is estimated to be almost $1,000,000. About $669,000 of the assets are assumed to be proceeds from the sale of his former law firm, according to one source, and Flaherty also held approximately $320,000 in real estate. Because these sums are relatively small, commentators suggest that the man’s withdrawal from government work may have been motivated by financial opportunities in the private sector.
According to court documents, the will was submitted for probate in May, and sources suggest that Flaherty’s wife may have filed the action to make it easier to manage the man’s assets. As an MPP, the woman is required to offer a detailed account of her financial interests.
In addition to naming his wife the executor and sole heir, the will also outlines how Flaherty’s estate should be divided if the woman died before him. The document also contains language moving custody of his children to his wife’s sister and her husband upon his death.
The content of the Flaherty’s will provides a solid foundation for the execution of his estate and the distribution of his wealth. Ontario residents may benefit from drafting a similar document that allows them to outline their wishes for the custody of their children and the division of their assets in the future.
Source: Ottawa Citizen, “Jim Flaherty’s net worth modest, according to his will,” Glen McGregor, June 10, 2014