Our lives are arguably the most valuable “possessions” we own and because we are quick to insure our cars and our homes, insuring our lives should be a no-brainer. This being said, it is not uncommon for instances to arise where your current life insurance policy is no longer needed.

The most common reaction to an unwanted policy is to surrender it in order to free yourself from the premium payments. While this seems practical, it is important to consider that even a policy without cash surrender value could have value of another kind, especially if your health has changed.

An alternative option for dealing with an unwanted policy is to donate it to a charity. With the assistance of an actuary who would determine the value of your policy, you are able to donate your insurance policy to a registered charity. Through this donation the charity becomes the owner and beneficiary of the policy and you, the donor, will receive a donation receipt for the value of the policy. If you continue to pay premiums on the policy you will also receive a donation receipt equal to the premiums paid.

This method of gifting allows you to use donation tax credits over your lifetime so that you can receive benefits while no longer owning the policy you have no use for. Speak to your life insurance advisor to determine if donating, not surrendering, will work for you.

Did you know that over 50% of Canadians do not have a will?* While some don’t know how to get started, others believe they can’t afford it.

Are you part of the 50% who don’t have a will? Having a will is an important part of your estate plan. Without a will, your assets would be distributed as per provincial intestate legislation. This process takes time, can increase costs, and will probably not match your wishes for your estate. If you have assets and want to give direction for the distribution of assets upon death, you need a will.

Get started now by working with your lawyer or asking your advisor for a recommendation for a lawyer they have worked with. It will be helpful to get a list of information the lawyer will request in order to gather what’s needed to create the will in advance of the meeting.

If you have concerns about the financial aspect of your estate distribution, your advisor can discuss an insurance solution that can help ensure your desires are met without negative financial consequences. For example, if you have a piece of property to give one child you may want to give your other child an equal share to make it equitable. An insurance solution may help depending on the circumstances.

By sharing a copy of your will with your advisor, they can help ensure all your financial documents align with your wishes.

Speak with your advisor to learn more about having a current will and the importance of it.

*Source: Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LawPRO), May 2012

An Alternative Investment for Capital Preservation & Estate Planning

Segregated Investment Funds are often misunderstood and underutilized by Financial Advisors and other Estate Planning professionals.

In May 2017, the Canadian parliament passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNA) – formerly known as Bill S-201. This Act, meant to prohibit and prevent discrimination, states that genetic test information can no longer be requested or used in rendering underwriting decisions. How this bill will impact underwriting and product pricing remains to be seen.

How the 2019 Passive Investment Income Changes Affect Your Small Business. After a lot of public debate in the tax and small business community around the way in which passive investment income is taxed in Canadian controlled private corporations, the changes that were announced in the 2018 Federal Budget are now law. These changes will limit the amount of the small business deduction for many corporations. Click here to read the article.