Estate & Legacy Planning  - Situational Financial Planning, Legal & ID Shield, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Estate & Legacy Planning 

Estate Planning
Estate Planning

"2 weeks of solid work on your estate can be worth
more to your family than the financial gains of the past 10 years"

Estate planning can seem awesomely complicated if you’re just starting to learn about it. With terms such as estate splitting and income sprinkling, inter vivos and testamentary trusts, estate freezes and holding companies, it’s like learning a new language.

But to understand the scope of estate planning, you have to go beyond the labels and keep in mind the underlying objectives of the process.

The principal objective of estate planning is to ensure that your property is managed most efficiently during your lifetime and that your wishes are carried out most effectively after you die.

Estate planning is not just for very high-income earners. Anyone who has a business or a family should have an estate plan. Generally speaking, an estate plan is applicable:

  • to create an estate

  • to conserve your assets

  • guidance in making appropriate plans for the distribution of your assets to  yourself as income during your lifetime or to your spouse, children, descendants after your death

Start with a will

Initially, you’ll have to describe how the estate assets and/or the income derived there from are to pass to your beneficiaries. To meet these intentions, the basic item in every estate plan is the will.

Often, a valid will (that you review periodically) is all that is required for purposes of estate planning. Or, you may want a plan that will help you split your income to reduce taxes. In more complex cases, the plan will accomplish an estate freeze to minimize the income tax payable on certain types of property which may be deemed to be disposed of immediately before death.

Naturally, one of your key concerns in arranging your estate plan will be reducing both federal and provincial taxes. Your Certified Financial Planner can describe some of your alternatives before you decide.

Make it flexible

Flexibility is a key ingredient in any estate plan. The plan should be adjustable in the event of either a change in the law or in family circumstances. For instance, what will happen in the event of the birth of an additional child, premature death of an intended beneficiary or a divorce?

The desire for flexibility will often call for the implementation of a simple plan at least in the initial stages, with room for amendment to more complex arrangements as the need arises.

Seek professional advice

I can help you develop and review your estate
plan. Of course, my role in such a setting is to be part of a team of professionals that will include your lawyer and accountant. By using such resources, you’ll be in a position to implement the most appropriate estate plan to meet your needs.


Paul is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) licensed by the Financial Planners Standards Council; Financial and Estate Plans are provided under that license.

The information contained in this website is intended to provide general guidelines only. The application and impact of the law can vary widely from case to case based on the specific or unique facts involved. Accordingly, the information in this article is not intended to serve as legal, accounting or tax advice. Users are encouraged to consult with their professional advisers for advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.

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J. Paul Wilson, CFP®, ChFC®
Certified Financial Planner
27 Blue Thistle Road Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3S 1M3
Office (902) 405-8665 Email
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