Most people only consider planning their estate after they have retired. They write their will early on, but consider that enough planning for the time being. The truth is that there are many estate planning opportunities and tax-saving strategies available to people who implement them earlier. Some solutions are only available if you plan them during your working years. We have provided some important estate planning strategies that you should start thinking about now:
Tax-exempt life insurance
Some people take a portion of their investments that are designated for their heirs and deposit them in a tax-exempt life insurance policy. This helps them transfer their wealth effectively while avoiding probate. Heirs receive the proceeds of these funds tax-free upon your death. The earlier you start implementing this strategy, the more tax your estate saves. This is because your deposits have more time to grow and compound in the tax-free environment.
Segregated funds are an important estate planning tool because of the death benefits guarantee they offer. This means, in most cases, that your beneficiaries are guaranteed to receive the total principal that you invested, which protects your estate from large stock market declines. These funds also offer you benefits you can use during your working years, like the aforementioned principal protection and the ability to periodically lock investment gains.
Power of attorney
You should not delay giving some power of attorney, even if you are relatively young and healthy. If you suffer a sudden decline in cognitive abilities, and nobody has power of attorney over your estate, it could make it very hard for your loved ones to help you. Just remember that no matter how invincible you may feel, there is no way to predict the future and accidents do happen. You need proper mental capacity to grant power of attorney, so don’t wait until it is too late.
If you are a business owner, and you plan to one day have your children take over, you should consider an estate freeze. This enables you to “freeze” the value of your business and have any future growth accrue to your kids, which minimizes the taxes due after you pass away.
Timing makes a big difference when it comes to estate planning. The sooner you plan, the better. No matter what your age is, you should talk to an estate planning specialist at The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management, Ltd. to help you get started today.
Greg Snider provides insurance products and services through Lifetime Financial Planning Inc. in the province of Alberta. Wayne Hill provides insurance products and services through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. in the province of Alberta. Cory Gagnon provides insurance products and services through Lifetime Financial Planning Inc. in the province of Alberta, and through Assante Estate and Insurance Services Inc. in the province of British Columbia. Lifetime Financial Planning Inc. is an outside business activity that may offer non-securities-related financial planning services. Any specific investment recommendations provided by Greg, Wayne, or Cory must be done through Assante Financial Management Ltd. (“Assante”), a registered mutual fund dealer. Although Assante is not responsible for any service or product supplied through Lifetime Financial Planning Inc., Assante will monitor for conflicts of interest and investigate any client complaints related to services offered by Lifetime Financial Planning Inc. A description of the key features of the applicable individual variable annuity contract is contained in the Information Folder. Any amount that is allocated to a segregated fund is invested at the risk of the contract holder and may increase or decrease in value. Product features are subject to change.