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Wealth management

3 facts you need to know for your estate planning

Angela Iermieri*
Planificatrice financière | Mouvement Desjardins
March 4, 2019

Estate planning: two words we generally cringe at but that one day or another, you're bound to hear. We're happy to share a few facts that might help you to take action sooner rather than later.

Fact No. 1: You don't have to be rich to draw up an inventory of your assets

The personnal inventory of assets is a financial tool that allows you to take stock of your wealth, including:

The goal is to get a clear picture of what own, list your assets and mesure the extent or your estate. Regardless of how much you have in assets and liabilities, you'll get up-to-date and accurate information from your inventory.

Fact No. 2: Knowing your tax bill beforehand will allow for more generous bequests

Under applicable laws, it is assumed that all goods are sold at their market value upon death; so certain goods like investments and secondary residences will be taxable on the presumed capital gains.

With effective planning, you and your future heirs will get the most out of your estate.

The tax bill can significantly decrease the value of your bequests. The best way to ensure that your heirs have access to liquidity or to avoid an estate deficit is to put the right strategies in place.

With the help of other Desjardins partners, your advisor has everything on hand to draw up your estate balance sheet and recommend winning strategies designed to increase the net value of the assets you'll leave behind, lower your tax bill and ensure fair bequests for your heirs.

There's a double advantage to conduct an estate balance sheet. On one hand, it gives a clear overview of your financial situation so you can set your objectives and draw up your will. On the other, paired with your inventory of assets, it's the best way to compile all your key financial information for your heirs.

Fact No. 3: Commu­nication is essential to a solid inventory

Ensuring that your spouse, as well as your heirs, are informed and up-to-date on the transfer or your assets, as well as on the documentation and information on all the accounts held, will facilitate the settlement of the estate.

The best approach is to have an open conversation with your loved ones and to rely on your advisor's support so you can avoid unpleasant surprises, now and later.

* Financial Planner and Mutual Funds Representative for Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc.