It is estimated that more than 16 per cent of Canadians were over the age of 65 in 2015, and Baby Boomers outnumbered children aged 14 and under.
With this significant demographic shift will come an immense transfer of wealth in the next 10 years. In fact, Baby Boomers are expected to inherit an estimated $750 billion over the course of the coming decade.
Most of the wealth to be transferred will be in the form of real property, and it is important that Canadians are aware of their options for preserving the value of real estate, minimizing estate taxes and avoiding conflict among family members.
(For more on including the family cottage in your estate plan, please see our previous post, "Want to preserve fond memories of the family cottage? Start planning now.")
The transfer of wealth to Boomers and subsequently to their children also presents the risk of estate litigation, particularly when an estate has not been properly planned. Medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease also factor into many disputes over how estate matters should be handled.
(We discussed common causes of estate litigation in one of our recent posts.)
Legal disputes over estate assets can quickly diminish the value of an estate, and too often families endure heart-rending conflict when questions arise as to the appropriate care for a vulnerable loved one.
Uncertainty in these matters can be avoided, however, by taking the proper steps now. With that in mind, please see Hagel Lawfirm's overview of wills and trusts.