The mandate for this section of the book is to introduce you to the general concepts of
estate planning. Since every individual has different objectives, needs and issues to deal
with, estate planning is a very personal and individual exercise. To many of you estate
planning is a grandiose exercise only needed by the rich. This is most definitely not the
case. Everyone, who is interested in ensuring their heirs receive as much as possible and
the taxman as little as possible, requires estate planning. Make no mistake, however, for
some individuals estate planning can be a complex area and you must consult the
appropriate professionals to ensure that all practical, legal and tax issues have been dealt
with to the best of your ability. Your parents will need a lawyer and chartered accountant
to start the process. Later they will likely require the services of an insurance advisor and
an investment expert. I simply want to educate you as to general issues and opportunities
that you may in turn identify as important for your parents’ particular needs.
I was once introduced to a wonderful “little old lady” who was referred to me for some
estate planning. Her husband and become institutionalized for various ailments and she
now lived on her own. On the surface you have this frail small person you feel compelled
to take under your wing and help but underneath was a planning machine. She had
educated herself as to general estate planning issues and now wanted an expert to assist
her in protecting herself, her husband and her estate. She had all the relevant
information neatly and concisely compiled for quick access. She had studied different
investment options, wills, living wills and powers of attorney. She knew what direction
she was going in.
Unfortunately, my client above is the exception to the rule. She was as prepared as most
people are unprepared. Your parents and the beneficiaries to their estate require some
estate planning to help ease administering the estate and to keep as much away from the
taxman as possible.
What is estate planning?
Simply, it is a process where you can help your parents arrange their business, legal, and
tax positions to achieve a number of potential objectives:
1 To ensure that your parents’ last wishes are carried out as they wanted.
2 To provide enough to dependents in case of death or disability.
3 To reduce the amount of taxes your parents’ will pay both during their lifetimes
and after their death.
4 To ensure that there is enough cash (liquidity is the term most professionals will
use) in your parents’ estate.
5 To maximize the amount of assets in the estate for the benefit of your parents’
6 To assist the executor by ensuring all legal documentation is clear and current.
7 In the case of incapacitation instead of death, to help your family deal with your
parents’ inability to help themselves physically, emotionally and financially
Contact the offices of Louis Sapi to arrange your estate planning consultation 905-678-2740